Coastal Processes, Hazards, and Society

Summary and Final Tasks


Summary and Final Tasks

Throughout this module, you were introduced to a wide range of coastal environments that exist across Earth. Each of these has a unique geomorphology that results from the interplay and influence of processes such as waves and tides, sediment supply, climate, type of bedrock, and, of course, plate tectonics.

A focus of the module was to point out that processes such as plate tectonics (Module 2) may affect the characteristics of a coast at the scale of several 100s to 1000s of kilometers along a continental margin but along such an extent of coast there may be smaller scale (10s to 100s of kilometers) coastal systems that are considerably different from one another. For example, the trailing-edge coast of eastern North America varies substantially from Canada to Florida, with rocky coastline characteristics in northeastern Canada and the northeastern U.S. to major sand-rich barrier island systems farther south around the mid-Atlantic states (e.g., Cape Hatteras of North Carolina) of the United States. These variations along a continental margin are a result of variability in sediment supply, climate, and hydrodynamic regime along the length of the eastern North America continental margin. The same type of along-margin variability in processes holds true along other continental margins, and it is clear that a unique suite of processes collectively contributes to create the wide range of global coastal geomorphologies that are evident on Earth today.

You have reached the end of Module 3! Double-check the Module 3 Roadmap (in Goals and Objectives) to make sure you have completed all of the activities listed there before you begin Module 4.

References and Further Reading