American Society of Civil Engineers

Coastal Erosion Responses for Alaska

by Orson P. Smith, (Department of Civil Engineering, University of Alaska Anchorage, 3211 Providence Dr., Anchorage, AK 99508 E-mail:
Section: Shoreline Erosion and Slope Failure, pp. 550-560, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Solutions to Coastal Disasters 2008
Abstract: Alaska’s 47,300 miles of coast, besides being longer than the coast of the rest of the US, is widely varied in climate, coastal configurations, and stage of development. The Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea, and Arctic coasts are each longer than either the Atlantic or Pacific coasts of the contiguous US States, so monitoring conditions for design of coastal works and for assessing climate change impacts is an extraordinary challenge. State and Federal agencies have only recently made comprehensive efforts in response to coastal erosion issues. Coastal management planning in Alaska is only just beginning to apply the No Adverse Impact concept to resolve development issues. Effects of cold climate and routinely severe coastal storms on construction materials and methods and on remote rural coastal sites are superimposed on this huge and complex setting.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Beach erosion
Coastal environment
Shoreline changes