Environmental Policy

Clear signs of erosion: Scientists are investigating a coastal area, where waves have hollowed out the thawing cliff line. The melt water which runs down the cliff intensives erosion additionally. Photos: M.N. Grigoriev, Alfred Wegener Institute

Map of the research locations: This map shows in red lines the four different coastal areas, where scientists had made close examinations of coastal erosion. Map: F. Guenther, Alfred Wegener Institute

Infographics: Coastal erosion is driven by two processes. The first is called „thermal denudation“ and means the thawing of the upper layer of permafrost. Close to the cliff lines this thawing is followed by a break up of the whole cliff line. The second process – calles thermal abrasion – is working at the bottom of the cliff. Here waves are hollowing out the cliff, which leads to further breakups. Infographics: Yves Nowak, Alfred Wegener Institute

A shrinking island: This photo illustration shows the erosion of the east-Siberian island Muostakh. The blue line marks ist coastal line in the year 1951, the red line presents its status in the year 2012. In the upper right corner one can see an aerial picture of the island’s northern tip, taken in the year 2012. At its narrowest point the island is shrinking more than four meters per year. Illustration: F. Guenther, Alfred Wegener Institute

Documentation of the erosion: This picture shows the enormous coastal erosion on Muostakh, a small east-Siberian island. The photo on top was made in August 2011, the one on the buttom one year later. Photos: P.P. Overduin / M.N. Grigoriev, Alfred Wegener Institute
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