Influence of El Niño on the variability of global shoreline position

Rafael Almar*, Julien Boucharel*, Marcan Graffin, Gregoire ondoa Abessolo, Gregoire Thoumyre, Fabrice Papa, Roshanka Ranasinghe, Jennifer Montano, Erwin w. j. Bergsma, Mohamed wassim Baba, Fei-Fei Jin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Coastal zones are fragile and complex dynamical systems that are increasingly under threat from the combined effects of anthropogenic pressure and climate change. Using global satellite derived shoreline positions from 1993 to 2019 and a variety of reanalysis products, here we show that shorelines are under the influence of three main drivers: sea-level, ocean waves and river discharge. While sea level directly affects coastal mobility, waves affect both erosion/accretion and total water levels, and rivers affect coastal sediment budgets and salinity-induced water levels. By deriving a conceptual global model that accounts for the influence of dominant modes of climate variability on these drivers, we show that interannual shoreline changes are largely driven by different ENSO regimes and their complex inter-basin teleconnections. Our results provide a new framework for understanding and predicting climate-induced coastal hazards.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3133
Number of pages13
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2023


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