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Study Notes

Coastal Features and Coastal Landscapes

AS, A-Level
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB, Eduqas, WJEC

Last updated 22 Mar 2021

A coastal landscape is a section of coastline that has a range of coastal features; some erosional, some depositional. It is distinguishable from neighbouring coastal landscapes by prevailing characteristics that dominate the form of the coastline there.

A coastal landscape will be an interaction between:

  • The nature and structure of the rock or materials constituting the coastline.
  • The climate component determining the range and intensity of weathering processes.
  • The marine processes operating to produce features of erosion and deposition.
  • The input of energy and sediment into the coastal zone.
  • The amount of time that has passed to develop or interrupt processes operating to produce features.

Different coastal landscapes may represent:

  • A high energy coastal environment dominated by developing features of erosion
  • A low energy coastal environment dominated by relatively stable features of deposition.
  • A variable energy (dynamic) coastal environment dominated by transfers of sediment between phases of erosion and periods of deposition.
  • A coastal environment with little long-term change and time for the full evolution of coastal landforms into a state of stable equilibrium.
  • A metastable coastal environment where processes (and thus, features) change rapidly such as with tectonic uplift, leaving relict features apparent.
  • A historic coastal environment with evidence of ancient processes, sea levels and features with more recent features superimposed as a result of different conditions operating at times up to the present.

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