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Coastal Processes. Coastlines. Affected by: Waves and Tides Gradual changes in sea level Biological Processes Tectonic Activity Shoreline: Point where ocean meets the land Coast: Larger zone affected by the processes listed above. . What is a Coast?.

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coastlines
Coastlines
  • Affected by:
    • Waves and Tides
    • Gradual changes in sea level
    • Biological Processes
    • Tectonic Activity
  • Shoreline: Point where ocean meets the land
  • Coast: Larger zone affected by the processes listed above.
what is a coast
What is a Coast?

A coast is an area near the shoreline that may include marshes, sand dunes, cliffs, and sandbars.

The shape of a coast depends on uplift and subsidence (sinking) of the land, wearing down of the land by erosion, and redistribution of sediment by transport and deposition.

sea level is major factor
Sea-Level is Major Factor
  • Determines where your shoreline is and where it may move in the future.
  • Five factors that change sea level:
    • Amount of water in the ocean due to glacial changes (Eustatic: World-wide sea level changes)
    • Rate of Sea-Floor Spreading. Faster = higher sea level. (Eustatic).
    • Temperature: Warmer water expands and colder water contracts (Eustatic)
    • Tectonics uplift or subsidence due to isostatic changes (Relative change: local changes in sea-level)
    • Wind and currents, seiches, storm surges, El Nino, La Nina can force water against shore or take it away (Relative sea level)
classification of coasts
Classification of Coasts

Depositional Coasts

Deposition or building of coasts is dominant.

Example: Sandy shores of New Jersey and Florida. Deposition of new sediments outpaces erosion.

Erosional Coasts

  • Dominant process is erosion or removal of sediments.
  • Example: Rocky shores of Maine. Erosion exceeds deposition.
  • Eroded by wind driven sediments, freeze-thaw, plant root pry, glaciers, rainfall, acidic soils, slump and waves.
  • Also can be eroded by digging and scraping of marine organisms.
erosional coastlines
Erosional Coastlines
  • High Energy: Battered by large waves.
  • Northeast U.S., British Columbia, Southern tips of Africa and South America.