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Term Definition
Arrival Time

Time the first the tsunami waves arrive.

Bathymetric Chart

A topographic map of the bed of the ocean, with depths indicated by contours (isobaths) drawn at regular intervals.


The measurement of water depths in oceans, seas, and lakes; also information derived from such measurements.


An accumulation of loose sediment (usually sand or gravel) along the coast.

Beach Face

The section of the beach normally exposed to the action of the wave uprush. Also referred to as the foreshore of a beach.

Beach Loss

A loss of sand from the active beach which is calculated based on volume

Beach Narrowing

A decrease in the useable beach width caused by erosion

Beach Width

The horizontal dimension of the beach measured normal to the shoreline and landward of the high water mark line on coasts.


A man-made structure protecting a shore area, harbor, anchorage, or basin from waves.

Buffer Area

A parcel or strip of land that is designed and designated to permanently remain vegetated in an undisturbed and natural condition to protect an adjacent aquatic or wetland site from upland impacts, to provide habitat for wildlife and to afford limited public access.

Building Setback

The country required seaward limit of major construction for a coastal property.


A strip of land of indefinite width (may be several kilometers) that extends from the shoreline inland to the first major change in terrain features. The part of a country regarded as near the coast.

Coastal Area

The land and sea area bordering the shoreline. An entity of land and water affected by the biological and physical processes of both the sea and land and defined broadly for the purpose of managing the use of natural resources.

Coastal Defense

General term used to encompass both coast protection against erosion and sea defense against flooding.

Coastal Erosion

The wearing away of coastal lands, usually by wave attack, tidal or littoral currents, or wind. Coastal erosion is synonymous with shoreline (vegetation line) retreat.

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