Institute for Water Resources

Home
Home > Missions > Coasts > Tales of the Coast > Coastal Dynamics > Wind > Wind and Alaskas Coasts

Tales of the Coast
Coastal Dynamics

Wind and Alaska's Coasts

Wind affects Alaska's coasts by creating waves, which transport sediment along the shore. These waves rework volcanic sediments in the Aleutian Arc, leading to beach development along the southern shores of Alaska. Waves also contribute to the formation of barriers and cuspate forelands along the northern deltaic coast.

Wind also impacts the northern coast of Alaska by pushing seasonal sea ice onto the shore. These ridges of ice scour sediments, which are transported when the ice melts. Sometimes the sediment moves alongshore, but it can also be lost to deep water, resulting in erosion of the coast.

Ice
Source: National Oceanic & Atmospheric Adminstration (NOAA)

Wind and Alaska's Coasts

Alaska's Coasts: Wind has an indirect but significant effect on the coasts of Alaska.