Trends in research on beaches and dunes on sandy shores, 1969–2019

Nancy L. Jackson, Karl F. Nordstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Trends in research on morphologic changes on beaches and foredunes on sandy shores are identified from the 1960s to the present. Research during this period evolved from early descriptive explanation and classification of profile change, to instrumented field investigations, to modelling of landform change at larger scales. Research efforts have become increasingly more collaborative, with increasing use of field instrumentation, data acquisition systems and remote sensing. Rich datasets are resulting in more comprehensive computational models. Human-altered systems are of increasing interest, but knowledge of these systems lags far behind knowledge of natural systems. Research is becoming more relevant to societal needs as the vulnerability of coastal populations increases. The need for investigation of understudied or unexplored environments, including human altered ones, is ongoing. Many basic research issues remain, but future studies would profit from the development of new models rather than validating or reconfiguring old models. Collaboration between geomorphologists and engineers may open up research opportunities, particularly in modifying beaches and dunes built for shore protection to provide natural values in restricted space. Application of models to enhance knowledge of effects of sea level rise and coastal storms would be useful to managers developing resiliency plans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106737
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth-Surface Processes


  • Barrier islands
  • Beach-dune interaction
  • Developed coasts
  • Morphodynamics
  • Sediment transport


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