Encyclopedia of Coastal Science

2019 Edition
| Editors: Charles W. Finkl, Christopher Makowski

Muddy Coasts

  • Terry R. HealyEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-93806-6_220

Muddy coast is defined as a coastal depositional environment which exhibits muddy sediments as a major component of the sedimentary morphodynamic system. These morphodynamic deposits possess textural characteristics containing a high proportion of silt and clay, and exhibit identifiable sub-tidal, intertidal, and supra-tidal stratigraphy. Such deposits tend to form extensive low-gradient morphological surfaces, and are often manifest as broad intertidal flats, colloquially termed “mudflats.”

The visually obvious muddy coastal sedimentary deposits and geomorphic forms occur mainly within the intertidal zone of coastal fringe waters, and are clearly evident as surficial deposits forming tidal flat and drainage channel deposits. Muddy coastal depositional environments also occur in nearshore sub-tidal locations characterized by relatively low energy hydrodynamic conditions, such as in shallow estuaries and embayments. But direct marine processes influencing muddy deposition extend inland...

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Earth Sciences DepartmentUniversity of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand