Author: de Iongh, Zilver (TU Delft Civil Engineering and Geosciences; TU Delft Water Management)

Delft University of Technology

Date: 2017-10-22

The beach at Ngapali, Myanmar is eroding, resulting in a shoreline which moves landward. The coastline gets closer to the vegetation each year and during the monsoon season, at high tide, it reaches the palm trees completely. The assumption is that this is due to people shovelling truckloads of sand from the beach to use for construction, this is otherwise known as sand mining. All around the world there are recorded cases of it, often with disastrous outcome. However, sand mining is done sensible, the consequences can be very limited. This research will make a quantification of the influence of sand mining on the beach, will help to understand at what rate the erosion of the beach over the past 30 and 15 years has been and will make a prediction with what rate this will continue. This is done by analysing 30 years of satellite data, gathering data about the movement of the ocean at the shore, looking at characteristics of the beach and talking to the locals. The conclusion is reached by looking at two different methods. Firstly the quantification of the amount of sand that is taken from the beach yearly with respect to the amount of sand that moves along the shore yearly. Secondly by looking at the satellite data to show if the erosion of the beach was already a trend before the sand mining started. The first method established that the sand mining is but a fraction (<1%) of the sand that moves along the shore each year. From the satellite data we can determine that the erosion of the beach already started when the satellites first started measuring. Therefore we can conclude that the erosion of the beach is not the result of sand mining activities.