Sunshine, waves and beaches, people all yearn for these beautiful ocean styles, among which the beach is an indispensable part. Only with the existence of the beach can people enjoy the beauty of the ocean. However, in the near future, perhaps the beach, which people have become accustomed to, will disappear forever.
In our impression, the beach is always on the edge of the ocean. Whenever you go to the beach, you can enjoy the caress of the soft sand. However, for the villagers of Dohag Village on Achill Island in western Ireland, this kind of enjoyment has been violated. decades. The village of Dohag is located on the beach, and itself is born on the sea and sand. Since the 17th century, some Irish people began to settle here. At first, the villagers relied on fishing and the sand on the beach to cultivate crops and make a living. With the development of the times, tourism has begun to rise. This beautiful beach attracts more and more tourists, and the villagers rely on tourism to live a prosperous life.
However, one day in 1984, everything changed. On this day, there was a severe storm in the village of Dohag, and the wind and torrential rain continued for many days. When the storm passed, the villagers rushed to the beach, wanting to enjoy the long-lost sunshine, but were surprised to find that reefs of different sizes were scattered on the beach, and the sand that originally covered them was gone. People’s feet hurt when walking on the stones, tourists can no longer enjoy the sea style, and the tourism industry is gradually stagnant.
How did the beach disappear?
People have wondered for decades, and they can’t look forward to the beach again, so they have to live in misery. Until 2017, a surprise came suddenly. Overnight, thousands of tons of sand were added to the seaside, and a 300-meter-long beach was once again paved. And one after another, the sea pushed more and more sand to the shore, the reef was hidden, and people could walk on the beach again. However, the good times did not last long. In 2019, after a strong winter storm, this golden beach disappeared again, leaving only bare reefs. It is thought, however, that the stretch of sand could be back soon, as the storm brought sand to the seabed just 400 metres from the coast, where a large tide could wash it back ashore.
the beach is disappearing
In fact, not only the beaches of Dohag Village, but also the beaches around the world are not fixed, they are constantly growing and receding.
Originally, there were many large rocks standing on the seashore. Due to the impact and weathering of sea water, the large rocks would gradually break into small pieces until they became small grains of sand. When it rains, the sand is washed into the sea by the currents on the slopes and accumulates on the seafloor. But the water is constantly flowing, and the waves will carry the gravel ashore until a beach is formed. On both sides of the bay, the waves carried the sand to the bank slope, and the backflow current did not return in the same way, but flowed to the position near the bay, so the sand was left on the bank slope. Repeated this many times, the sea sand gradually converged into the bay and became a coastal beach.
Of course, farther from the shore and deeper in the water, the sea water has greater impulse, more backflow, and greater scour force on the sand. More sand is brought back to the sea than left on the shore, and the sand cannot accumulate, so here it is. became the end of the beach. The size of the sandy beach is constantly changing dynamically with the ebb and flow of the tide and changes in sea height.
Therefore, when Daohag Village encountered a sudden storm, the rushing sea water swept away the sand on the beach, the balance of water and sand was destroyed, and the beach could not be re-accumulated. After a long time, a new balance of water and sand is re-established, and the sand begins to slowly form again. However, the beach in Dohag Village is only hit by accidental damage like a storm, and given enough time, the beach will always recover again. And the world’s beaches are facing a serious threat – rising sea levels, its damage to the beach may be permanent.
Recently, some scientists in Europe have predicted through some data that by the end of this century, as much as half of the world’s sandy beaches may disappear. Using updated sea level rise forecast data, the researchers analyzed future global sea level rise. They also took into account natural factors, such as wave erosion and the underlying geology of beaches; and human factors, such as coastal building development and ocean The influence of artificial beach cultivation should be combined with all the above factors to judge the changes of the beach.
The results show that at the end of this century, the sea level will rise by 0.2 to 0.3 meters, and for every 0.03 meters of sea level rise, the beach will decrease by an average of 1 meter. Beach damage will vary by location, with Australia’s coastline likely to be most affected, with at least 11,400 kilometers (about 50 percent of the country’s entire sandy coastline) at risk by 2100. Other countries, such as Chile, the United States, Russia, Mexico and Argentina, also face severe coastal erosion threats. By then, the beach may be a luxury only for the few.
Save the beach, it’s urgent
Beaches are important as we know them, for coastal areas they are an important economic engine, supporting fishing, tourism and other activities; in some areas they are even necessary for survival, they cover the coastline To protect coastal areas from storm surges, production and life can continue; for nature, the beach is also an indispensable ecological environment, nurturing many creatures.
Therefore, it is urgent to find a solution to the disappearance of the beach. One of the most commonly used and oldest methods of protecting the beach is the artificial beach. In 1922, New York, the United States launched the first artificial beach project, the Coney Island Public Beach Project, digging sand from nearby shores or deep seas and transporting it to the coast without sandy beaches to be laid as sandy beaches. Although artificial beaches need to pay a huge economic cost, they have played a good role in preventing coastal erosion and maintaining the balance of water and sand, so this method is gradually popularized around the world.
The Repulse Bay Beach in Hong Kong, built in 1990, is the earliest man-made beach in China. This beach not only beautifies the urban environment, but also provides necessary conditions for the development of tourism. However, due to frequent typhoons in Hong Kong, the sand on the artificial beach is often washed away by water currents and swept by strong winds, and is constantly lost, so that the local government has to continue to invest funds to maintain and replenish the beach, which brings additional financial costs. burden.
In order to solve the problem of the loss of sand from artificial beaches, scientists have conducted more in-depth research on the beaches and summarized some methods of artificial beaches: when the waves hit the shore, the kinetic energy is large, and they can carry a large amount of sediment. The coarse-grained material is brought back to the ocean, while the fine-grained gravel can still be returned to the sea, so the sediment particles on the coast from land to sea will change from coarse to fine. This rule should also be followed when filling artificial beaches with sand, so as to prolong the retention time of the sand. Offshore artificial beaches can also be used to reduce sand loss by building dams, trapping water and trapping mud and blocking sediments…
People have paid a huge price for creating beaches. However, whether artificial beaches can fully realize the benefits of natural beaches The effect is unknown. Rather than wait until the beaches are gone and rebuild, why not protect them while they still exist?