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Coastal Zone

The coastal zone constitutes 8 percent of the global ocean surface. Most scientific definitions of coastal zones are based on coastal processes or landform. The International Geosphere–Biosphere Program defines a coastal zone as “extending from the coastal plains to the outer edge of the continental shelves, approximately matching the region that has been alternately flooded and exposed during the sea level fluctuations of the late Quaternary period.” This space includes the foreshore, the beach area and natural coastal protection systems such as sand dunes and mangroves.

While the coastal zone can be divided into many types, Inman and Nordstrom devised a classification system for coasts based on plate tectonics, dividing the coastal zone into collision coasts, trailing edge coasts and marginal sea coasts. Other coastal zone ...

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