Shoreline change analysis using end point rate and net shoreline movement statistics: An application to Elmina, Cape Coast and Moree section of Ghana’s coast
Most coastlines in the world are under the threat of erosion. As such many developed nations have instituted long-term measures to control the rate of change. However, along most developing nation coastlines, little attention is given to coastal erosion management. Ghana like most developing countries has little commitment to ensure the effective monitoring and management of coastal erosion. Consequently, many of its coastal communities and important historical monuments are now under severe risk to sea erosion. This study focuses on the shoreline evolution that occurred along the Elmina, Cape Coast and Moree coast of Ghana during a thirty-eight year period using available datasets that allowed the authors to discern between what happened between 1974 and 2005, and in the most recent years, between 2005 and 2012. Shoreline data from 1974, 2005 and 2012 were incorporated in Geographic Information System (GIS) using ArcGIS for analysis. The net shoreline movement and end point rate statistics were generated by ArcGIS together with Digital Shoreline Analysis System software extension. The study identified that in all the three epochs considered, there were a general erosion trend in the shoreline changes. This study has provided valuable and comprehensive baseline information on the state of the coastline in the Elmina, Cape Coast and Moree area which can serve as a guide for coastal engineers, coastal managers and policy makers in Ghana to manage the risk.