Spatial Analysis for Coastal Vulnerability Assessment
Coastal systems are complex. They are variable across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Coastal processes cannot always be described by the basic laws of physics because the multiplicity of components, some hardly predictable, interact dynamically along a highly interconnected surface. Bak (1997) argued that complex behaviour in nature reflects the tendency of some systems to evolve into a 'poised, critical state, way out of balance', where minor disturbances may initiate a wide range of events. This seems to apply particularly well to coastal systems.