Steep coast

A steep coast[1] is a stretch of coastline where the mainland descends abruptly into the sea. There is a sharp transition from the land to sea as opposed to that on a flat coast where the land descends gradually seawards. The height of the land on a steep coast is well above sea level.

Most steep coast are rocky cliffed coasts (also called abrasion coasts), where the erosion processes of wave action result in a steep declivity. Another type of steep coast is the fjord which is formed when a glacial valley lies partially under water as a result of a rise in sea levels. In Norway, New Zealand or Alaska there are fjords whose almost vertical sides tower over 1,000 metres above the water and plunge 300 metres below it.

On volcanic islands the sea can enter the caldera and the face of the volcanic pipe can form a steep coastline. The best-known example of that is Santorini in the archipelago of the Cyclades in Greeces. The main town of Thira lies on the rim of the caldera which is around 300 metres above the sea and drops below it for another 200 metres.

Dugi Otok Telascica
View of the steep coast on the island of Dugi Otok in Croatia


  1. ^ Bird, Eric (2008). Coastal Geomorphology: An Introduction, 2nd ed., Wiley, Chichester, 2008.

The village of Althagen on the peninsula of Fischland-Darß-Zingst in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has been a part of the municipality of Ahrenshoop since 1950. Until 1945, the border between Mecklenburg and Pomerania ran between Althagen and Ahrenshoop along the border road, Grenzweg.

The Bakelberg knoll lies close to the steep coast of Althagen/Niehagen. At 17.9 metres above sea level, it is the highest point on Fischland. Althagen has a port on the bodden coast.Well known residents of Althagen include the designer, Gertrud Kleinhempel (1875-1948), the writer, Käthe Miethe (1893-1961) and (from 1944) the well-known artist couple Fritz Koch-Gotha (1877-1956) and Dora Koch-Stetter (1881-1968). Koch-Stetter's 1911 expressionist painting, The red house in Althagen, is one of her most famous works to this day.

From 1955, Fischland Pottery (Fischlandkeramik), was developed in their ceramics workshoops by the next generation of the artist family of Koch [-Gotha and -Stetter], artist and potter, Barbara Klünder (1919-1988), and her husband, the artist Arnold Klünder (1909-1976) together with artist, Frida Löber (1910-1989) and the sculptor and potter, Wilhelm Löber (1903-1981).

Amber Spas

The Amber Spas (German: Bernsteinbäder) are four German seaside resorts on the island of Usedom, that originally formed an administrative unit called Amt Insel Usedom-Mitte:

Koserow – Ostseebad

Loddin – Ostseebad

Ückeritz – Ostseebad

Zempin – Ostseebad

Cape Arkona

Cape Arkona (German: Kap Arkona) is a 45-metre-high cape on the island of Rügen in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. It forms the tip of the Wittow peninsula, just a few kilometres north of the Jasmund National Park. The protected landscape of Cape Arkona, together with the fishing village of Vitt, belongs to the municipality of Putgarten and is one of the most popular tourist destinations on Rügen, receiving about 800,000 visitors annually.

On the cape there are two lighthouses, a navigation tower, two military bunker complexes, the Slavic temple fortress of Jaromarsburg and several tourist buildings (restaurants, pubs and souvenir shops).

Because of its geology and the weathering that occurs here, there are frequent coastal collapses, especially in winter.

Cape Arkona is often referred to as "the northernmost point of Rügen", which is not true. Approximately one kilometre to the north-west, there is a point on the steep coast, known as the Gellort, which is a little further north. Directly at the foot of the Gellort is a 165-ton glacial erratic boulder known as the Siebenschneiderstein (Low German: Söbenschniedersteen). The cape offers an impressive view of the island, both from land or 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


Fischland-Darß-Zingst or Fischland-Darss-Zingst is a 45 km (28 mi) long peninsula in the coastal district of Vorpommern-Rügen, in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The three parts of the peninsula, from west to east, are Fischland (part of Mecklenburg), Darß and Zingst (part of Pomerania).

There are six villages on the peninsula - Wustrow, Ahrenshoop, Born, Wieck, Prerow and Zingst. Between the peninsula and the mainland there is a very shallow lagoon (Low German: bodden), the Saaler Bodden, which is part of the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park, together with the peninsula.

Greifswalder Oie

Greifswalder Oie (literally "Greifswald's isle") is a small island in the Baltic Sea, located east of Rügen on the German coast. The island covers an area of about 54 hectares.


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.


Koserow is a municipality on Usedom Island, in the Vorpommern-Greifswald district, in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany.

A small coastal bathing resort, Koserow lies on an isthmus on the island of Usedom on the Baltic Sea, near the border with Poland. It is located within the Usedom Nature Park and is one of the four so-called Amber Spas on the island, connected by a 12 km long fine sandy beach called Amber Beach. The other three amber spas are Loddin, Ückeritz and Zempin.

As of 2013, Koserow had a population of 1,656.


The German island of Liebitz lies in the lagoon of Kubitzer Bodden about 700 metres west of Germany's largest island, Rügen, in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. It belongs to the municipality of Dreschvitz.

The island is about 1,000 × 700 metres across and has an area of about 64 ha. In the west of this low island, only a few metres high, is the island's Pleistocene core, which is increasingly being eroded by the water. In the east there are flat salt meadows.

The island of Liebitz is part of the nature reserve named after it and lies within the West Pomeranian Lagoon Area National Park. It is forbidden to entering the bird reserve without permission. The eastern part of the island is the most densely populated by breeding birds. In addition to black-headed gulls, common gulls breed here in large colonies. Sand martins settle on the steep coast of the morainic core. In addition, various species of wader, ducks and geese breed on the island. The number of breeding pairs fell drastically after 1992, but has been stable since 1998.


Luštica (pronounced [lûːʃtit͡sa]) is a peninsula on the south Adriatic Sea, located at the entrance of the Bay of Kotor (Serbo-Croatian: Boka kotorska or Boka) in southwestern Montenegro. It effectively separates Tivat Bay from the Adriatic.

The peninsula has an area of 47 km² and is 13 km long. The highest point of the peninsula is Obosnik peak, at 582 m. It has 35 km of coast, which accounts for 12% of Montenegrin coastline. Lustica is divided between Herceg Novi and Tivat Montenegrin municipalities.

Marie Louise Island

Marie Louise Island is a low-lying coral island in the Amirantes group of the Outer Islands of the Republic of Seychelles, in the western Indian Ocean, with a distance of 308 km south-west of Victoria, Seychelles.

Mota (island)

Mota is an extinct volcanic island in the Banks group of Torba Province in northern Vanuatu.


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.


Niehagen is a village in the municipality of Ahrenshoop on the Fischland-Darß-Zingst peninsula in the German state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania.

On the steep coast near Althagen/Niehagen lies the Bakelberg knoll. At 18 m above sea level (NHN) it is the highest point of Fischland.

The sculptor, Gerhard Marcks, lived and worked in Niehagen in the 1930s, at Boddenweg 1.


Sellin is a municipality on the Island of Rügen, in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. For the German Protestant theologian Ernst Sellin (1867–1946) see here.

Sunken Meadow State Park

Sunken Meadow State Park, also known as Governor Alfred E. Smith State Park, is a 1,287-acre (5.21 km2) state park located in the Town of Smithtown in Suffolk County, New York on the north shore of Long Island. The park, accessible via the Sunken Meadow State Parkway, contains the 27-hole Sunken Meadow State Park Golf Course.

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.


Tongatapu is the main island of the Kingdom of Tonga and the location of its capital Nukuʻalofa. It is located in Tonga's southern island group, to which it gives its name, and is the country's most populous island, with approximately 71,260 residents (2006), 70.5% of the national population, on 260 square kilometres (100 square miles). Its maximum height is 65 metres (213 feet). Tongatapu is Tonga's centre of government and the seat of its monarchy.

Tongatapu, as a commercial and transport hub, has (led by Nukuʻalofa) experienced more rapid economic development than, as well as attracting many internal migrants from, the other islands of the Kingdom.

Western Pomerania

Western Pomerania, also called Cispomerania or Hither Pomerania (German: Vorpommern), is the western extremity of the historic region of the Duchy, later Province of Pomerania, nowadays divided between the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Poland.

The name Pomerania comes from Slavic po more, which means "land by the sea". The adjective for the region is (Western) Pomeranian (Polish: pomorski, German: pommersch), inhabitants are called (Western) Pomeranians (Polish: Pomorzanie, German: Pommern).

Forming part of the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, Western Pomerania's boundaries have changed through the centuries and it belonged to countries such as Poland, Sweden, Denmark, and Prussia. Before 1945, it embraced the whole area of Pomerania west of the Oder River. Today the cities of Szczecin (German: Stettin), Świnoujście (German: Swinemünde) and Police (German: Pölitz) are part of Poland (see Territorial changes of Poland immediately after World War II), with the remainder of the region staying part of Germany. German Vorpommern now forms about one-third of the present-day north-eastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

German Western Pomerania had a population of about 470,000 in 2012 (districts of Vorpommern-Rügen and Vorpommern-Greifswald combined) - while the Polish districts of the region had a population of about 520,000 in 2012 (cities of Szczecin, Świnoujście and Police County combined). So overall, about 1 million people live in the historical region of Western Pomerania today, while the Szczecin agglomeration reaches even further.

Towns on the German side include Damgarten, Bergen (Rügen Island), Anklam, Wolgast, Demmin, Pasewalk, Grimmen, Sassnitz (Rügen Island), Ueckermünde, Torgelow and Barth.



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