Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2023-165
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2023-165
29 Nov 2023
 | 29 Nov 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

The contribution of diminishing river sand loads to beach erosion worldwide

Vincent Regard, Rafael Almar, Marcan Graffin, Sébastien Carretier, Edward Anthony, Roshanka Ranasinghe, and Pierre Maffre

Abstract. The erosion of sandy beaches can have a profound impact on human activities and ecosystems, especially on developed coasts. The scientific community has, to date, primarily focused on the potential impact of changes in sea level and waves on sandy beaches. While being abundantly recognized at local to regional scales in numerous studies over the last two decades, the contribution of diminishing fluvial sediment supply to sandy beach erosion at the global scale is still to be investigated. Here, we present a model of sediment budget computed from the balance between land riverine input and coastal transport. It results in a global picture of sand pathway from land to sea. Our analysis demonstrates the massive impact of the thousands of river dams on beach erosion worldwide. Sand can be mobilized with wave-induced longshore transport over large distances, in general toward the equator, within sediment cells, often at distance from the outlets.

Vincent Regard, Rafael Almar, Marcan Graffin, Sébastien Carretier, Edward Anthony, Roshanka Ranasinghe, and Pierre Maffre

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on nhess-2023-165', Anonymous Referee #1, 28 Dec 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on nhess-2023-165', Anonymous Referee #2, 06 Feb 2024
Vincent Regard, Rafael Almar, Marcan Graffin, Sébastien Carretier, Edward Anthony, Roshanka Ranasinghe, and Pierre Maffre
Vincent Regard, Rafael Almar, Marcan Graffin, Sébastien Carretier, Edward Anthony, Roshanka Ranasinghe, and Pierre Maffre

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Short summary
The erosion of sandy beaches affects human activities and ecosystems. Research has mainly focused on sea level and wave changes, and while localized sediment research is abundant, the global effect of reduced fluvial sediment supply remains unexplored. This study presents a global sediment model that demonstrates the significant impact of river dams on beach erosion worldwide. Sediment can travel long distances via wave-induced transport, often away from river outlets.
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