(ORDO NEWS) — European and Australian geologists have found that the rapid rise in the level of the world’s oceans will accelerate coastal erosion tenfold, which will affect the state of coastal infrastructure and the appearance of beaches and fjords.
Scientists decided to find out how rising sea levels will affect the stability of coastlines around the planet. To do this, they studied changes in the state of coastal cliffs and beaches in two regions of the UK: in the vicinity of the cities of Bideford and Sculby.
The team collected rock samples from these coastal areas and analyzed how many unstable beryllium-10 and aluminum-26 atoms were present.
Both isotopes decay rapidly, which is why their atoms appear in rocks only as a result of prolonged exposure to cosmic rays. This makes it possible to calculate the age of rocks and the rate of their destruction by sea waters.
So geologists were able to measure not only the current rate of erosion of the coastline in the vicinity of Bideford and Sculby, but also to assess how this parameter has changed over the past 8-9 thousand years. Scientists compared this information with how the sea level changed during this period of time.
Calculations have shown that the rate of erosion of coastal zones increases with an increase in the level of the world ocean.
For this reason, scientists expect coastal erosion to increase tenfold by the end of the century, creating problems for coastal infrastructure. The first visible traces of this process will be noticeable to observers in the coming decades, summed up Rud and his colleagues.
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