Graded shoreline

A graded shoreline is a stage in the cycle of coastal development characterised by a flat and straight coastline. It is formed under the influence of wind and water from the original bays, islands, peninsulas and promontories. Sand and gravel is carried away and dumped at other locations depending on the direction and strength of sea currents. Typical of graded shorelines are the formation of dunes, wide sandy beaches and sometimes a lagoon or a spit. Where two graded shorelines meet, a headland may form with a sandy reef in the sea beyond it. Parallel to the graded shoreline sandbanks may form as a result of sediments transported away from the shore.



  • German Wikipedia
  • Whittow, John (1984). Dictionary of Physical Geography. London: Penguin, 1984. ISBN 0-14-051094-X.

The coast, also known as the coastline or seashore, is the area where land meets the sea or ocean, or a line that forms the boundary between the land and the ocean or a lake. A precise line that can be called a coastline cannot be determined due to the coastline paradox.

The term coastal zone is a region where interaction of the sea and land processes occurs. Both the terms coast and coastal are often used to describe a geographic location or region (e.g., New Zealand's West Coast, or the East and West Coasts of the United States). Edinburgh is an example city on the coast of Great Britain.

The term pelagic coast refers to a coast that fronts the open ocean, as opposed to a more sheltered coast in a gulf or bay. A shore, on the other hand, can refer to parts of land adjoining any large body of water, including oceans (seashore) and lakes (lake shore). Similarly, the somewhat related term stream bed or stream bank refers to the land alongside or sloping down to a river (riverbank) or body of water smaller than a lake. Bank is also used in some parts of the world to refer to an artificial ridge of earth intended to retain the water of a river or pond; in other places this may be called a levee.

While many scientific experts might agree on a common definition of the term coast, the delineation of the extents of a coast differ according to jurisdiction, with many scientific and government authorities in various countries differing for economic and social policy reasons. According to the UN atlas, 44% of people live within 150 km (93 mi) of the sea.

Coastal geography

Coastal geography is the study of the constantly changing region between the ocean and the land, incorporating both the physical geography (i.e. coastal geomorphology, geology and oceanography) and the human geography (sociology and history) of the coast. It includes understanding coastal weathering processes, particularly wave action, sediment movement and weather, and the ways in which humans interact with the coast

Darß Forest

The Darß Forest (pronounced "Darss", German: Darßwald) is a wooded region on the western coast of the peninsula of Darß on Germany's Baltic coast. There are no settlements in the forest. Villages on the outskirts are Ahrenshoop and Born in the south and Wieck and Prerow in the east. The Darß Forest covers an area of 5,800 hectares and is part of the Western Pomeranian Lagoon Region National Park. The area around Darßer Ort and the northwestern part of the forest belong to conservation zone 1. Here, the land may not be used for human exploitation and the aim is to allow the areas to develop naturally.

Dornbusch (Hiddensee)

The Dornbusch is a region of low rolling hills in the northern part of the German Baltic Sea island of Hiddensee. It consists mainly of ice age depositions, that were left behind after the glacier thawed. It is one of three island cores of the Hiddensee responsible for the emergence of the lowland.

The Dornbusch measures about 2.45 kilometres from north to south and about 2.85 kilometres from east to west. Its highest point, at 72 metres above sea level, is the Schluckswiekberg, on which the Dornbusch Lighthouse, the symbol of Hiddensee, stands.

With much of its cliffed coast still active it represents an important landscape in the West Pomeranian Lagoon Area National Park and is part of protection zone II. Numerous footpaths run through its varied countryside.


Fischland (literally "fish land") is an isthmus on the southern Baltic Sea coast on the Bay of Mecklenburg in northeastern Germany. It is part of the peninsula of Fischland-Darß-Zingst. Fischland was an island until the 14th century and was bounded by the navigable estuarine branches of the River Recknitz: the Permin in the south and the Loop in the north. In more recent times its southern boundary has usually been considered to be the Recknitz Meadowland (Recknitzer Stadtwiesen) and the Rostock Heath (Rostocker Heide). To the west and east its boundaries are more obvious: on the one side is its active cliffed coast on the Baltic, and on the other the coastline alongside the Saaler Bodden, only a few centimetres above sea level. Fischland is about 5 km long, between 500 metres and 2 km wide and runs from southwest to northeast.

The Pleistocene island core, which is subjected to marked changes as a result of water and wind action, consists of glacial sands (Geschiebesanden) and till and forms part of a graded shoreline. Not until the end of the 14th century were the two existing channels between the Baltic Sea and the lagoon or bodden filled in by the Hanseatic League in order to make access to the sea more difficult for their rival, Ribnitz. As a result, Fischland and Darß became a peninsula.

Today storms carry away an average of half a metre of coast per year from Fischland, depositing it again further north at Darßer Ort. Without major coastal defence measures the narrow isthmus would probably have long since been destroyed.

Near the steep coastline of Althagen/Niehagen lies the eminence of Bakelberg. At 17.9 metres above sea level (NN) it is the highest elevation on Fischland.

There is a total of just four settlements on Fischland, which have largely merged with one another today: the Ahrenshoop villages of Althagen and Niehagen as the municipality of Wustrow with the village of Barnstorf. The village of Ahrenshoop, well known as a residence and holiday resort for artists, on West Pomeranian soil is not on Fischland, however, but on the Vordarß. To the north Fischland is bounded by the present-day boundary trail (Grenzweg) in the municipality of Ahrenshoop. This used to be the site of the Loop, an inlet that marked the border between Mecklenburg and Pomerania; until recent times it continued to form the border between the Mecklenburg and Pomeranian State Churches.


The Gellen or Gellen Peninsula (German: Halbinsel Gellen) is a spit at the southern end of the island of Hiddensee off the north German Baltic coast. Its southern part is protected as an important bird reserve and is part of protection zone I of the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park. It is therefore not accessible to the public.

It consists of post-ice age sand depositions and is growing annually by a few metres to the south. The dredging of the shipping channel between the island of Bock and the Gellen prevents a graded shoreline from being formed, which would otherwise be typical of the eastern Baltic Sea area with its numerous spits.


An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, skerries, cays or keys. An island in a river or a lake island may be called an eyot or ait, and a small island off the coast may be called a holm. A grouping of geographically or geologically related islands is called an archipelago, such as the Philippines.

An island may be described as such, despite the presence of an artificial land bridge; examples are Singapore and its causeway, and the various Dutch delta islands, such as IJsselmonde. Some places may even retain "island" in their names for historical reasons after being connected to a larger landmass by a land bridge or landfill, such as Coney Island and Coronado Island, though these are, strictly speaking, tied islands. Conversely, when a piece of land is separated from the mainland by a man-made canal, for example the Peloponnese by the Corinth Canal or Marble Hill in northern Manhattan during the time between the building of the United States Ship Canal and the filling-in of the Harlem River which surrounded the area, it is generally not considered an island.

There are two main types of islands in the sea: continental and oceanic. There are also artificial islands.


Mudflats or mud flats, also known as tidal flats, are coastal wetlands that form in intertidal areas where sediments have been deposited by tides or rivers. A recent global analysis suggested they are as extensive globally as mangroves. They are found in sheltered areas such as bays, bayous, lagoons, and estuaries. Mudflats may be viewed geologically as exposed layers of bay mud, resulting from deposition of estuarine silts, clays and marine animal detritus. Most of the sediment within a mudflat is within the intertidal zone, and thus the flat is submerged and exposed approximately twice daily.

In the past tidal flats were considered unhealthy, economically unimportant areas and were often dredged and developed into agricultural land. Several especially shallow mudflat areas, such as the Wadden Sea, are now popular among those practising the sport of mudflat hiking.

On the Baltic Sea coast of Germany in places, mudflats are exposed not by tidal action, but by wind-action driving water away from the shallows into the sea. These wind-affected mudflats are called windwatts in German.


The Nordperd (Perd = Slavic for protrusion or prominence) is a cape on the German Baltic Sea island of Rügen. It is part of the Southeast Rügen Biosphere Reserve and the Mönchgut Nature Reserve.

The cape forms the eastern point of the island of Rügen and the district of Vorpommern-Rügen. The roughly 1,500-metre (0.93 mi) long headland has the shape of an isosceles triangle, which ends in a roughly 20-metre (66 ft) high wooded cliff at its tip. The Nordperd has been protected by coastal defence measures and is thus relatively unaffected by the normal active processes of a graded shoreline.

The Nordperd section of the Mönchgut Nature Reserve has an area of 69 hectares (170 acres). Its terrain typically consists of dry grasslands, sycamore-ash woods on the cliff slopes and beaches and shallow waterbodies.

The northern section of beach, with a spa promenade at the Baltic Sea coastal resort Göhren, is separated by Cape Nordperd from the beach at Göhren running southwards.

Between Göhren Pier and the Nordperd lies the Buskam, the largest glacial erratic in North Germany, which projects about one metre (3.3 ft) above the sea.

The counterpart to the Nordperd is the Südperd, the southeast tip of Rügen in the municipality of Thiessow. Between the Nordperd and the Südperd, 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) away, are the flat sandy beaches of the Mönchgut peninsula, interrupted by the 15-metre (49 ft)-high cliff at Lobber Ort.

Surf zone

As ocean surface waves come closer to shore they break, forming the foamy, bubbly surface called surf. The region of breaking waves defines the surf zone. After breaking in the surf zone, the waves (now reduced in height) continue to move in, and they run up onto the sloping front of the beach, forming an uprush of water called swash. The water then runs back again as backswash. The nearshore zone where wave water comes onto the beach is the surf zone. The water in the surf zone, or breaker zone, is shallow, usually between 5 and 10 m (16 and 33 ft) deep; this causes the waves to be unstable.



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