Coastal Oceanography A

Coastlines represent the boundary between ocean and land. In the first of two lectures, we examine that interaction, defining topography and oceanographic characteristics specific to coastline habitats.

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Table of Contents

Title slide

Classifying Coasts

Primary Coasts

Secondary Coasts

Large Scale Features of Secondary Coasts


Breaking waves

(photo) A typical beach

Features of a beach

Longshore currents

Oblique waves and beaches

Parallel waves and beaches

Beach sediments are moved by currents and waves, especially breakers.

Beach Profiles

Sand budgets

Coastal Cells

Sand dunes are formed by winds blowing sand landward from the dry part of the beach.

Cross-section of a beach including dunes


Barrier islands

Morphology of a barrier island system

Formation of barrier islands

Sea cliffs

Processes of cliff recession


Morphology of a delta

Other types of coast


Types of estuary

The three types of estuary

Estuary oceanographic characteristics

Salt-wedge estuary

Partially-mixed estuary

Well-mixed estuary

Biological stress in an estuary

Biological halotolerance

Chesapeake Bay


Author: Sean Todd


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