Estuaries are the points where the land, rivers and seas meet. This means they are dynamic landscapes. Change in estuaries occurs at a range of space and timescales, driven by changes in energy regime and changes in sea level. This case study of the Dee Estuary explores controls on coastal change at a range of scales.
Coastal change can be dramatic across quite small spatial scales. Along a 10 km stretch of the west Wirral coastline we can observe very different types of coastal environments, from salt marsh in the south at Parkgate, to a sandy beach with a sand-dune system in the north at Hoylake, with mudflats in between (Figure 1). These represent very different types of habitats, where different ecological processes operate and a range of different plants and animals live. Change at this spatial scale is driven by the different energy regimes in different parts of the estuary.
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