Encyclopedia of the World's Coastal Landforms

2010 Edition
| Editors: Eric C. F. Bird


  • William Ritchie
  • Alastair Dawson
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8639-7_83


It is only about 350 km from the northernmost part of the Scottish mainland to the English border, and about 150 km from west to east, yet the Scottish coastline, including the numerous islands to the north and west, is about 12,000 km long, with about 15% classified as estuarine or narrow inlet, and less than 10% being some form of sandy beach ( Fig. 7.24.1). These beach and dune areas range from small coves to vast sand plains. Hard coastal forms such as plunging cliffs, pseudo-cliffs, and rock platforms form the greater part of the coastline, but there are also good examples of such soft coastal forms as salt marshes and tidal and estuarine mudflats. The variety of the long Scottish coastline can be explained as a result of several key factors: rock type, geological structure, patterns of glaciation and deglaciation, sea level changes, and recent processes, of both the sea and the land. For these reasons an exceptionally large number of areas have some kind of...


Rock Platform Sand Dune System Rock Cliff Shell Sand Coastal Form 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Ritchie
    • 1
  • Alastair Dawson
    • 2
  1. 1.Aberdeen Institute for Coastal Science and Management  
  2. 2.University of Aberdeen Scotland