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Morphogenetic classification of the Arctic coastal zone

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Arctic coastal evolution is the result of interactions between exogenic and endogenic processes. In the arctic region, this evolution differs from that in other areas of the world’s oceans as a result of interactions between modern wave and ice factors, and the influences of glaciations and large-scale sea level changes in the past. Geologic structure, origin and development determine contemporary relief morphology. Morphology appears to be the most significant relief characteristic, but it is controlled by a set of interactive processes active over long periods. Our approach, in which a multitude of interacting factors are simultaneously analyzed and determined, could be called “morphogenetic”. We consider marine coasts and offshore zones (shelf) as a unit, and providing a general explanation for their evolution. The classification presented here is based upon the general approach given in the Science and Implementation Plan of Arctic Coastal Dynamics (ACD), a project of the International Arctic Science Committee and the International Permafrost Association. Our classification extends beyond the morphological ACD classification to include a morphogenetic classification.

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This study is supported by INTAS (grant No. 2001–2332).

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Correspondence to S. L. Nikiforov.

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Nikiforov, S.L., Pavlidis, Y.A., Rachold, V. et al. Morphogenetic classification of the Arctic coastal zone. Geo-Mar Lett 25, 89–97 (2005).

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