Sediment Sources in Coastal Systems

Inputs of Sediment into the System

  • Rivers carry sediment from inland.
  • Sea level rise can flood river valleys, forming estuaries.
  • Eroded material from cliffs by waves, weathering and landslides.
  • Waves, tides and currents can transport sediment into the coastal zone from offshore deposits.


Sediment Budget – difference between the amount of sediment that enters the system and the amount that leaves.

Sediment Cells –

  • Coast is divided into sediment cells.
  • Lengths of coastline that are entirely self-contained for the movement of sediment.
  • Processes going on in one cell don’t affect the movement of sediment in another cell.