Shoreline Management


Coastal Processes

This section provides an introduction to the coastal processes and their influences on the Sefton Coast. Information about the relevant processes can be accessed through the lower left menu.

Coastal processes are the driving forces behind coastal change. They are natural, physical forces that we all associate with the coast such as currents, tides, wind, waves and storm events. Some of these processes are regular and predictable like the tides whilst others are irregular and less predictable like the wind and storm events.

The tides and currents are the main forces that shape our coastline, and have done so for thousands of years, and give it the form we see today. These forces change the coast continuously, however, the changes are generally gradual and go unnoticed.

The less predictable forces, wind, waves and storms can have more dramatic and noticeable effects on the coast. A single storm can produce huge waves and can erode large sections of dunes and salt marsh, resulting in noticeable cliffing. Similarly strong onshore winds that coincide with low tides can blow huge amounts of sand to the top of the shore.