Environments of Coastal Zones
In what sort of tectonic setting would you expect rocky coasts most often? What is the role of different rock types in how erosion may take place along an uplifted, high wave energy rocky environment?
Some estimates suggest that nearly 75% of the world’s shorelines are considered rocky coasts, meaning that the shoreline consists of erosionally resistant cohesive bedrock or sediment that has been recently cemented together to form a cohesive unit. Most often, rocky coasts are in areas of high wave energy and are erosional with only localized areas where sediment might accumulate, such as small beaches between rocky headlands. They exist across a wide range of geologic settings, including very mountainous regions, areas that have been or are covered with glacial ice, or along volcanoes that are located in the open oceans. Although rocky coastlines may be present on passive, trailing tectonic margins, they are most frequently located along collisional tectonic margins.