Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of the World's Coastal Landforms

pp 33-42


  • Paul D. KomarAffiliated withOregon State University


The Pacific coast of Oregon extends for nearly 700 km from the Washington border on the Columbia River in the north, to the border with California in the south (Fig. 1.3.1). The Oregon coast is characterised by considerable geomorphic variability, with long stretches of rocky shore and major headlands formed of resistant volcanic rocks, which isolate sections of sandy beaches ranging in lengths from small pockets to littoral cells that extend for 10 s to over 100 km distances along the coast; the longest is the 250 km beach from Florence to Coos Bay, backed by the Oregon Dunes Recreation Area, the most extensive coastal dune sheet in North America.
Fig. 1.3.1

The coast of Oregon and its principal communities.

2. The Oregon Coast

Important to the geology and geomorphology of the Oregon coast is its tectonic setting, being located within the zone of collision of three of Earth’s tectonic plates, the oceanic Juan de Fuca and Gorda plates, and the contin ...

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