Erosion and Accretion Along the Arctic Coast of Alaska: The Influence of Ice and Climate

by Peter W. Barnes, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, United States,
Bonnie P. Rollyson, U.S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Sediments


Coastline comparison on 1951 and 1981 charts to determine erosion and accretion showed that ocean-facing coastal bluffs were retreating while deltas were rapidly expanding. Where the coast is fronted by a lagoon, and coast-parallel sand and gravel islands, bluff retreat was reduced. The extensive bluff erosion was volumetrically balanced by accretion at the mouths of deltas. Coastal erosion is driven by ice-related processes, aided by the presence of an ice-eroded shelf. Rapid delta expansion is interpreted to have begun in the last 200 years, perhaps related to observed permafrost warming.

Subject Headings: Beach accretion | Erosion | Ice | Climates | Sea ice | Coastal processes | Shores | Comparative studies | Arctic | Alaska | United States

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