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2) Relative sea level (rsl) changes. (a) The National Research Council’s Committee on Engineering Implications of Changes in Relative Sea Level (National Research Council 1987) examined the evidence on sea level changes. They concluded that rsl, on statistical average, is rising at most tide gauge stations located on continental coasts around the world. In their executive summary, they concluded (p. 123): The risk of accelerated mean sea level rise is sufficiently established to warrant consideration in the planning and design of coastal facilities.
B. Later classifications. The best known of the modern classifications are those of Cotton (1952), Inman and Nordstrom (1971), Shepard (1937), with revisions in 1948, 1971 (with Harold Wanless), 1973, and 1976, and Valentin (1952). Except for Inman and Nordstrom (1971), the classifications emphasized onshore and shoreline morphology but did not include conditions of the offshore bottom. This may be a major omission because the submarine shoreface and the shelf are part of the coastal zone. Surprisingly few attempts have been made to classify the continental shelf.
C. Long-term causes of sea level change. (2) West coast of North America. (a) The west coast is subject to extreme and complicated water level variations. Short-term fluctuations are related to oceanographic conditions like the El NiñoSouthern Oscillation. This phenomenon occurs periodically when equatorial trade winds in the southern Pacific diminish, causing a seiching effect that travels eastward as a wave of warm water. S. west coast. Normally, the effect is only a few centimeters, but during the 1982-83 event, sea level rose 35 cm at Newport, OR (Komar 1992).