Human Impact and Rates of Shore Retreat Along the Black Sea Coast


  • Yuri D. Shuisky
  • Maurice L. Schwartz


Beach erosion, Bulgaria, cliff retreat, erosion rates, Rumania, shore drift, Soviet Union, Turkey


The coast of the Black Sea is 4431 km in length, 47% of which is actively eroding. Much of the coast consists of cliffs, divided into three types: rockfall, landslide, denudation. Cliff erosion rates, for these types are: 0.3-0.5 m/yr to 4-5 m/yr; 0.1-0.3 to 2-3 m/yr; and 0.01 to 0.2 m/yr, respectively. Beach sediment available is: 5-7 m3/m/yr in the Odessa region; 5-6 m3/m/yr in the Western Crimea; and 3-6 m3/m/yr on the Rumanian and Bulgarian coasts. Human impact has greatly accelerated erosion rates at many coastal sites; and there has been a policy change, from engineered structures to artificial nourishment, in dealing with this problem.

Author Biographies

Yuri D. Shuisky

Maurice L. Schwartz