Encyclopedia of Coastal Science

2019 Edition
| Editors: Charles W. Finkl, Christopher Makowski

Microtidal Coasts

  • J. Andrew G. CooperEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-93806-6_212

Coasts where the tidal range (difference between successive high and low tide levels) does not exceed 2 m are commonly referred to as microtidal (Hayes 1979; Davies 1980; Cooper 1994). Such coasts may be composed of a variety of materials and occur in all latitudinal zones and in a variety of energy settings. Their common characteristics are derived from the fact that their small tidal range focuses marine action (via waves and tidal currents) into a relatively narrow vertical range. Hayes (1979) identified a generalized link between tidal range and coastal morphology. Microtidal coasts were characterized by long, narrow barriers with abundant washover features, well-developed flood-tidal deltas, and small ebb-tidal deltas. These characteristics have often led to application of the term “wave-dominated” to such coastlines, although Davis and Hayes (1984) demonstrated that this is not universally true. Some microtidal coasts do exhibit dominance of tidal currents over waves and some...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environmental StudiesUniversity of UlsterColeraineNorthern Ireland