Coastal landforms

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English: Overview of different types of coasts

Rocks sticking out of the sea[edit]


A stack is a geological landform consisting of a steep and often vertical column in the sea near a coast, formed by wave erosion.

Land under sea[edit]


A reef is a bar of rock, sand, coral or similar material, lying beneath the surface of water.


A shoal or sandbar (also called sandbank) is a somewhat linear landform within or extending into a body of water, typically composed of sand, silt or small pebbles.


A lagoon is a shallow body of water separated from a larger body of water by barrier islands or reefs.

Tidal landforms[edit]


Mudflats are coastal wetlands that form in intertidal areas where sediments have been deposited by tides or rivers.


A beach is a landform alongside a body of water which consists of loose particles, such as sand, gravel, shingle, pebbles.

Sand and pebble beaches[edit]

Boulder beaches[edit]

Boulder beaches

Rock beaches[edit]

Rock beaches

Wave-cut platforms[edit]

A wave-cut platform is a narrow flat area that was created by erosion.

Sea cliffs[edit]

A sea cliff is a form of coast where the action of marine waves has formed steep cliffs.

Wave-cut notches[edit]

Wave-cut notches are created by waves at the base of a cliff.


A headland is a narrow strip of land, largely surrounded by water.


A spit or sandspit is a deposition bar or beach landform off coasts or lake shores.


A cape is a headland or a promontory of large size extending into a body of water, usually the sea.


A peninsula is a landform surrounded by water on the majority of its border while being connected to a mainland from which it extends.

Coastal dunes[edit]

A coastal dune is a hill of loose sand built by aeolian processes (wind) or the flow of water, along the coast.


An inlet is an indentation of a shoreline. From small to big:


A cove is a small type of bay.


A bay is a part of a sea or ocean that invades the land.


A calanque is a steep-sided valley formed within karstic regions.


A fjord is a long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created by a glacier.


A gulf is a large inlet from the ocean into the landmass, up to more than 100 km.

Rivers at coasts[edit]

River mouths[edit]

A river mouth is the part of a river where the river debouches into a sea or an ocean.


An estuary is a partially enclosed coastal body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea.

River deltas[edit]

A river delta is a system of branches of a river before it flows into the sea or into a large lake.