Tool: Northern Alaska Coastal Erosion Threatens Habitat and Infrastructure

In a study published in 2015, scientists from the U.S.G.S found that the remote northern Alaska coast has some of the highest shoreline erosion rates in the world. Analyzing over half a century of shoreline change data, scientists found the pattern is extremely variable with most of the coast retreating at rates of more than 1 meter a year. Scientists studied more than 1600 kilometers of the Alaskan coast between the U.S. Canadian border and Icy Cape and found the average rate of shoreline change was -1.4 meters per year. Of those beaches eroding, the most extreme case exceeded 18.6 meters per year.

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