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Classification of coastal profiles

Fig. 1a. Typical exposed littoral dune coast, the Danish North Sea Coast
Fig. 1b. Corresponding wave height distribution.

This page gives an overview of the existing types of coastal profiles around the world. Their classification, as given below, is based on the material present at the specific location and size of the water bodies at the location. The wave and wind conditions are related to the size of water body present and the wind and wave climate at the location. Several characteristics of the coastal profiles are mentioned. Links to articles with a detailed description of a coastal profile can be found in the see also paragraph.

The theoretical equilibrium profile is often recognised in the real coastal profiles, but deviations often occur due to variations in the seabed material and the presence of bars and due to the influence of tide, etc. Another reason can be that the actual profile has not yet reached the equilibrium shape, which is important information in relation to the analysis of the predominant processes at a specific site. Rocky coastlines that exist adjacent to littoral coastal profiles have only a minor influence on the coastal profile but may have a major influence on the shape and stability of the shoreline.