Sedimentary coasts

Document Type

Book chapter

Publication details

Scheffers, AM, Scheffers, SR & Kelletat, DH 2012, 'Sedimentary coasts', 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. 125-180. ISBN: 9789400707375

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The most popular of coastlines are beaches. Beaches are primary landforms bounding approximately 30% of the world’s coastlines and consist of sand or gravel (or a mixture of both). They have enormous recreational value but importantly act as buffers for wave energy delivered to the shore and shelter areas behind the beach from wave attack or flooding, especially during storms. Along many coastlines, beaches and the associated back-beach environments (lagoons, marshes, dune belts) have been intensively developed and are today among the most densely populated regions of the world and therefore particularly vulnerable to the impacts of marine natural hazards. A beach is a t hree-dimensional s ediment b ody a long a shoreline t hat e xtends f rom t he upper limits of wave run-up to the outer limits of wave action in the nearshore zone. In 124 images we demonstrate the diversity of beaches and associated often ephemeral features both on land and in the littoral zone: Dunes, spits, barriers, tombolos, beachrock, beach ridge systems and coastal landforms at the interface between rivers and the sea: different delta types of the world.