the non-living component of the environment; not pertaining to life or living organisms.


Where rock pieces move against another rock and wear it away, e.g. a pebble is washed against a cliff by waves and breaks off tiny bits of the cliff. If you rub two pebbles together you will have abrasion and the pebbles will begin to be worn away. You can try it with two pieces of chalk. Abrasion will cause them to crumble to powder.

Acceptable Risk

 A risk, which, for the purposes of life or work, everyone who might be impacted is prepared to accept assuming no changes in risk control mechanisms. Action to further reduce such risk is usually not required unless reasonably practicable measures are available at low cost in terms of money, time and effort.


 The addition of new land to the shoreline through the action of natural forces depositing water- or airborne material or by reason of an act of man such as the accretion formed as a result of groin or breakwater construction, or beach fill deposited by mechanical means; also defined as the process of gradual and imperceptible

Aeolian deposits

 Wind-deposited sediments, such as sand dunes.


 living or active only in the presence of oxygen; taking place in the presence of oxygen.


The geologic process by which various parts of the surface of the earth are raised in elevation or built up by the deposition of material transported by water or wind.

Algal bloom

 an overgrowth of algae in water that can shade out other aquatic plants and use up the water’s oxygen supply as the plants decompose; blooms are often caused by pollution from excessive nutrient input.


 A term applied to shelves that presently experience deposition of river-derived sediments.

Alluvial deposits

 Detrital material which is transported by a river and deposited - usually temporarily - at points along the floodplain of a river. Commonly composed of sands and gravels.


 Parallel to and near the shoreline; same as longshore.

Alternative livelihoods

 jobs offered to people who are displaced from their current jobs because of resource conservation programs.

Angle of repose

 The maximum slope(measured from the horizon) at which soils and loose materials on the banks of canals, rivers, or embankments stay stable.


 devoid of free oxygen


 effects from the influence of human beings on natural systems.


 Layers of stone, concrete or other material to protect the toe of a structure such as a seawall.


 the cultivation of fish, shellfish, and/or other aquatic animals or plants, including the processing of these products for human use.


 A geologic stratum that contains water than can be economically removed and used for water supply.


Where the sea has worn a hole right through a cliff so the cliff looks like a bridge.


 A marine engineering term that means providing structural protection for shorelines; e.g., bulkheads, seawalls etc.

Armor levee

 The armor levee is a levee covered with an armor so that it is not

Artificial reef

 Any marine habitat constructed for the purpose of attracting marine species or enhancing marine resources to improve fisheries; usually made of terrigenous substances such as used auto tires, concrete rubble, old ship hulls, automobile bodies, etc.

Aseismic ridge

 A submarine ridge with which no earthquakes are associated

Asset Status

 This refers to an individual’s or group’s access to livelihood assets. A change in Asset Status may involve an increase or decrease in access to livelihood assets or a change in the composition of the livelihood assets to which there is access.
at or near the crest of the beach, to resist erosion, usually timber.


 The reduction and rounding of particles of sediment carried in water by repeated collision with each other and the shore.


 (1) Rapid erosion of the shoreland by waves during a storm.

 (2) A sudden cutting off of land by flood, currents, or change in course of a body of water