Understanding Abrasion: Causes, Impact, and How to Prevent It

Definition of Abrasion – The Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) is well known by many people as a maritime country. This term can arise because the Indonesian state has more ocean area than the land, so that almost all of Indonesia’s land is surrounded by a coastline. Therefore, the Indonesian state has long been known for its maritime trade.

The Geospatial Information Agency (BIG) said that the total length of the coastline of Indonesia is 99,093 kilometers. The length of the line is very long, but as time goes by, the Indonesian coastline begins to experience shrinkage. The shrinkage of Indonesia’s coastline has occurred in several places, so that slowly Indonesia’s coastline is also decreasing.

The shrinking of the coastline is accompanied by the shrinking of the land. The shrinking of the coastline can cause the environment, ecosystems, and residents around the coast to suffer losses, so they cannot use the beach to the fullest. Shrinking coastlines can be caused by human activities and can also be due to natural factors.

The smaller the coastline, the more indented the beach is towards the mainland. The occurrence of shrinkage is due to beach abrasion. Beach abrasion that occurs continuously can also reduce the beauty of the beach itself because the natural balance is damaged.

There is no harm in understanding more about beach abrasion because who knows, by knowing more about beach abrasion, we can play a role in preventing abrasion. To find out more about beach abrasion, you can see this article, Sinaumed’s. This article will discuss further, starting from the definition of abrasion, its causes, impacts, to how to prevent abrasion.

Definition of Abrasion

Abrasion is an event of soil erosion caused by sea waves and the presence of sea tides. Whether it’s sea waves or sea tides, both of them have destructive properties. Therefore, the land on the coastline will be damaged if it is continuously exposed to sea waves and sea tides.

Almost the same as the definition of abrasion in the Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI), abrasion is the erosion of rocks by wind, water or ice that contain materials that are destructive. The occurrence of this abrasion event is not always caused by natural factors, but can also be caused by human behavior. If left alone, slowly but surely the beach area will decrease.

Abrasion caused by natural factors (tides and sea waves) will always occur. Even so, we can still reduce coastal damage due to abrasion. By minimizing the impact of this damage, soil erosion on the coast does not shrink or decrease significantly.

In simple terms, the occurrence of abrasion in the form of sediment that is on the coast is carried by sea water in larger quantities or has crossed the threshold. Therefore, if things like this keep happening, the sediment on the coast will not only decrease, but will slowly run out.

Coastal waves that cannot be broken can cause abrasion which will be detrimental to the ecosystem, environment, and residents around the coast. To prevent this, it can be done by providing concrete material around the beach, so that the beach waves can be broken up and abrasion is avoided. The concrete materials for protecting beaches are very diverse, you can find them in the book Concrete and Precast Technology in Coastal Safety Buildings. 



Preventing beach abrasion and erosion can be said to be a necessity so that the ecosystem and environment around the coast are not damaged. One way to make this happen is by applying PEGAR technology. PEGAR Technology stands for Low Threshold Breakwater. Building PEGAR technology requires special skills, the book Pegar Technology for Overcoming Erosion and Beach Abrasion contains research results on the development of PEGAR technology, so it can be used as a reference for making PEGAR technology.


Definition of Abrasion According to Experts

Some experts also express the meaning of abrasion, including:


Wibowo said that abrasion is a process of eroding hard material or rocks, such as rock walls which are usually accompanied by avalanches or material collapse on the beach.

Aditya Pebriansyah

According to Aditya Pebriansyah, abrasion is the occurrence of soil erosion caused by the impact of sea waves, glaciers, river water, sea, or the wind that is around it.

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According to Damaywanti, abrasion is a process of eroding land or coastal areas caused by the activity of ocean currents, sea waves, and sea tides.


Prawiradisastra said that abrasion is the erosion of the beach which usually occurs due to ocean currents or sea waves.

Law Number 24 of 2007

Based on Law Number 24 of 2007, abrasion is a process of eroding the coast caused by destructive ocean waves and currents where the trigger is the disturbed natural balance in the area.

From the definition of abrasion that has been expressed by several experts, it can be said that abrasion is the erosion of the coast caused by sea waves and sea tides that carry coastal sediments at normal limits.

Causes of Abrasion

The process of abrasion or the cause of abrasion is divided into two, namely caused by natural factors and caused by human behavior.

Natural Factors

Natural factors that cause abrasion are sea currents, tides, climate change, and storms.

Ocean Currents

As previously explained, one of the main causes of abrasion is due to seawater currents. In this case, sea water currents can be interpreted as sea waves or waves that will continuously damage the coast, so that the coastline will shrink or decrease.

These sea waves or waves can appear due to differences in concentrations in the sea waters and the existence of air circulation. With these two things, waves or sea waves can reach the coast. If the sea waves are getting bigger, the sedimentary rocks on the beach will quickly break.

In addition, the stronger the sea waves will carry beach sand and other beach materials into the ocean. Because of that, beach erosion due to abrasion is slowly getting bigger.


In addition to the factor of sea water currents, the occurrence of abrasion is also caused by sea tides. The tides of this sea water will not be avoided. In other words, sea tides must occur, so that coastal damage cannot be avoided. Although it cannot be avoided, but abrasion due to sea tides, the damage can be minimized.

Sea tides occur due to the gravitational movement of the earth and the moon that surrounds the earth. The occurrence of tides will change the beach every day because it can carry beach materials into the sea, so there will be a lot of beach material that will be lost and cause beach abrasion.

Climate change

The next cause of abrasion that comes from natural factors is climate change. Climate change that is happening at this time can be considered quite severe because it is uncertain, so it is difficult to predict. This abnormal climate change can increase sea levels, so that it can submerge coastal areas. The coast, which used to be wide, will get smaller and smaller due to abrasion.


Storms are one of the causes of beach abrasion. If a storm has occurred in the coastal area, the soil erosion is also getting bigger. In fact, bada can carry beach material in quite a lot. The bigger the storm, the bigger and worse the beach abrasion will be.

Indonesia is known as a country prone to natural disasters because of its geographical location. The Geography of Natural Disasters book contains information on which areas may be affected by natural disasters. If you want to know about areas that have a significant risk of being affected by natural disasters, then you can get this book by clicking the “Buy Now” button below.

Human Factors

Not only from natural factors, beach abrasion can occur, but it can also occur due to human factors, including:

Exploitation of Marine Resources

Exploitation of marine resources can cause abrasion to occur. This is because when there are sea waves, there are no obstacles, so they go straight to the beach. In addition, the exploitation of marine resources can also damage seawater ecosystems, so that marine biota fish and coral reefs cannot develop optimally.

As for marine resources that are exploited, such as taking excess marine fish, damaging coral reefs, and taking excess marine biota. Exploitation of these marine resources should be reduced as much as possible so that marine ecosystems can last even longer. More importantly, the absence of exploitation of marine resources can prevent seawater abrasion.

Global warming

Global warming is one of the causes of abrasion due to human behavior. The occurrence of global warming is caused by bad human behavior which prevents geothermal heat from returning to the atmosphere, so that geothermal temperatures have increased from year to year. The causes of global warming, such as the use of motorized vehicles, excessive forest burning, industrial factories, and so on.

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The existence of these motorized vehicles produces carbon dioxide which makes it difficult for geothermal energy to be reflected by the earth. If geothermal heat continues to occur, then the ice at the poles will seek, so that sea levels will rise. From the sea level that continues to rise, the area around the coast will be lower.

Sand Mining on a Large Scale

The third cause of beach abrasion originating from human behavior is sand mining on a large scale. Beach sand that is taken on a large scale will reduce beach sand very quickly, so that sea waves will easily hit coastal areas.

In other words, the absence of beach sand or a significantly reduced beach will result in the greater force of the ocean waves hitting the beach. If it’s like that, then abrasion can not be avoided anymore.

Various kinds of disasters that exist in this world can sometimes occur not only because of natural factors, but also because of human factors. One of the causes of natural disasters due to human activity is the lack of plants which can be the cause of natural disasters, such as floods, landslides, and so on. So, we must play a role in preventing natural disasters by replanting or reforestation. The book Going Green to Avoid Disasters contains the importance of going green to prevent natural disasters in simple and easy-to-understand language.

Abrasion Impact

The occurrence of this abrasion also has an impact, including:

Flora and Fauna Habitats are Slowly Disappearing

If abrasion occurs for a long time, the habitat for marine flora and fauna will slowly disappear. The loss of habitat for marine flora and fauna also reduces marine resources, so that it will be difficult for local people to enjoy the benefits of marine resources. In addition, the habitat of marine flora and fauna is slowly disappearing which can damage the marine ecosystem.

Mangrove Forest Becomes Degraded 

Many studies have stated that mangrove forests can repel sea water, so that abrasion can be prevented. However, mangrove forests will be damaged or even destroyed if large-scale abrasion continues. What’s more, when it enters the hurricane season, the mangrove forests will find it increasingly difficult to withstand the sea waves.

Shrinkage of Line or Beach Area

As previously explained that abrasion will carry beach material into the sea, so that the coastline will shrink. If the beach area is shrinking, there will be fewer places for fishermen to park their boats, making it difficult to store boats on the beach. In addition, the beauty of the beach can be reduced due to considerable abrasion.

How to Prevent Abrasion

Abrasion events are bound to happen, but that doesn’t mean we don’t try to prevent them. In the following, how to prevent beach abrasion.

1. Provides a Ban on Sand Mining

Sand mining can be one of the causes of abrasion. Therefore, it is necessary to ban sand mining. With this prohibition, beach sand will continue to exist and will not run out easily, so that abrasion or beach erosion can be prevented or minimized.

2. Improving Coral Reef Maintenance

Increasing the maintenance of coral reefs can be one way to prevent abrasion. This is because coral reefs are getting more and more maintained and will reduce the strength of sea waves.

This beach abrasion must be prevented so that environmental sustainability around the beach is maintained and residents can still feel the benefits of the beach. One way to prevent abrasion is to plant mangroves. This plant is able to prevent sea waves and still has other benefits. A research book from Kompas Research and Development with the title Mitigating Abrasion Calamity, Planting Mangroves can be used as a reference for planting mangroves for communities around the coast.

3. Planting Mangrove Plants

There have been many studies stating that mangrove plants can be abrasion prevention plants. With the presence of mangroves, the sea waves or waves will break before arriving at the beach. Therefore, in several areas near the coast, we will find mangrove forests which aim to hold and break up ocean waves.


The occurrence of this abrasion can have a damaging impact on the coast, so that ecosystems and the coastal environment are damaged, even the activities of the local population are not optimal and it is difficult to earn income. This is because marine resources are decreasing rapidly and the coast is not beautiful, so it is rarely visited by domestic or foreign tourists.

Therefore, we should prevent sea abrasion caused by humans. Meanwhile, we also play a role in minimizing damage caused by abrasion from natural factors. That way, the coast will still be beautiful and marine resources will still exist, so that the economy of the local population can increase. So, are you interested in participating in abrasion prevention activities?

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