Coastlines dominated by ingression of the sea into older terrestrial landforms

Document Type

Book chapter

Publication details

Scheffers, AM, Scheffers, SR & Kelletat, DH 2012, 'Coastlines dominated by ingression of the sea into older terrestrial landforms', in AM Scheffers, SR Scheffers & DH Kelletat (eds), The coastlines of the world with Google Earth: understanding our environment, vol. 2, Coastal Research Library, Springer Netherlands, pp. 73-96. ISBN: 9789400707375

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At shorelines, we can observe the constant motion of ocean waters and their effects. Sea-level changes, waves, longshore currents, and tidal currents interact with the rocks and tectonics of the coast to shape shorelines into a multitude of forms. Coastal scientists refer to primary coasts as a category of coastal landscapes which show well-preserved features of former terrestrial morphologies. Ingression coastlines are simply drowned coastal landscapes as ingression refers to the advance of the sea into existing terrestrial topography, like the drowning of a river valley by the Holocene sea level rise. They occur in all latitudes, and in fact all morphological features of continental landscapes may appear as drowned coastal forms and landscapes. The rich diversity of ingression coastlines which owe their preservation to sheltered positions along the shoreline and to the short duration of the recent high sea level (6000 to 7000 years) is presented in 35 figures.