1. River Deltas.- Occurrence and Distribution of Deltas.- General Characteristics of Deltas and Deltaic Environments.- Delta-Forming Processes.- Deltaic Sediments and Sedimentary Structures.- Variability of Deltaic Depositional Models.- Summary.- References.- 2. Estuaries.- Occurrence and Distribution of Estuaries.- Estuary Evolution.- Sources and Nature of Estuarine Sediments.- Estuarine Processes.- Hydrodynamic Factors.- Transport and Accumulation Mechanisms.- Particle Dynamics and Behavior.- Estuarine Dispersal and Depositional System.- Depositional Sequences in Estuaries.- Summary.- Unsolved Questions.- References.- 3. Intertidal Flats and Intertidal Sand Bodies.- Global Distribution.- Sedimentation Processes.- Intertidal Flats.- Intertidal Sand Bodies.- Summary.- References.- 4. Coastal Salt Marshes.- The State of the Art.- Definition and Occurrences of Coastal Salt Marshes.- Environmental Conditions and Marsh Zonation.- Characteristic Plants.- Characteristic Sediments.- Substrate Characteristics and Biogeochemistry.- Processes Affecting Sedimentation in Salt Marshes.- Sedimentary Structures.- References.- 5. Coastal Dunes.- Coastal Sand Dunes.- Physical Processes of Eolian Sedimentation.- Artificially Inseminated Coastal Sand Dunes.- References.- 6. Beach and Nearshore Zone.- Distribution.- Geometry.- Beach Materials.- Processes.- Sedimentary Structures.- Process-Response Systems in the Beach and Nearshore Environment.- Stratigraphic Sequences.- References.- 7. Tidal Inlets and Tidal Deltas.- Bedforms.- Genesis of Tidal Bedforms.- Tidal Deltas.- Stratigraphic Sequences and Depositional Models.- References.- 8. The Shoreface.- Fluid Dynamics of the Shoreface.- Sediment Dynamics on the Shoreface.- Morphodynamics of the Shoreface.- Shoreface Facies.- Engineering Implications.- Summary.- References.- 9. Coastal Stratigraphic Sequences.- Processes of Coastal Change.- Sea Level Change.- Continental Margins.- Lagoon-Barrier Systems.- Interpreting Sedimentary Sequences.- The Transgressive Coast.- The Regressive (Progradational) Coast.- Delta-Chenier Plains.- Coastal Sequence Preservation Potential.- Coastal Sequences in Time and Space.- Summary.- References.- 10. Modeling Coastal Environments.- Hydraulic Scale Models.- Statistical Models.- Probabilistic Model.- Deterministic Model.- Fourier Model.- Coastal Storm Model.- Summary.- References.
The zone where land and sea meet is composed of a variety of complex environments. The coastal areas of the world contain a large percentage of its population and are therefore of extreme economic importance. Industrial, residential, and recreational developments, as well as large urban complexes, occupy much of the coastal margin of most highly developed countries. Undoubtedly future expansion in many undeveloped maritime countries will also be concentrated on coastal areas. Accompanying our occupation of coasts in this age of technology is a dependence on coastal environments for transportation, food, water, defense, and recreation. In order to utilize the coastal zone to its capacity, and yet not plunder its resources, we must have extensive knowledge of the complex environments contained along the coasts. The many environments within the coastal zone include bays, estuaries, deltas, marshes, dunes, and beaches. A tremendously broad range of conditions is represented by these environments. Salinity may range from essentially fresh water in estuaries, such as along the east coast of the United States, to extreme hypersaline lagoons, such as Laguna Madre in Texas. Coastal environments may be in excess of a hundred meters deep (fjords) or may extend several meters above sea level in the form of dunes. Some coastal environments are well protected and are not subjected to high physical energy except for occasional storms, whereas beaches and tidal inlets are continuously modified by waves and currents.
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