Encyclopedia of the World's Coastal Landforms

2010 Edition
| Editors: Eric C. F. Bird


  • Carlos Morais*
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8639-7_118


The Portuguese coastline is about 845 km long. The climate is cool and maritime, with a transition from cool temperate in the north to Mediterranean in the south. The summer is dry, the winter wet, especially in the north. Porto has a mean monthly temperature of 9°C in January and 19°C in July and a mean annual rainfall of 1,151 mm; Lisbon has a mean monthly temperature of 11°C in January and 22°C in July and a mean annual rainfall of 686 mm. Tides are semidiurnal, and mean spring tide ranges typically mesotidal: Barra de Aveiro has 2.5 m, Figueira do Foz 3.0 m, Peniche 3.0 m, Lisbon 3.3 m, Setubal 4.0 m, and Cabo San Maria 2.6 m. Currents in coastal waters flow from north to south.

The west-facing coast is exposed to Atlantic swell and waves generated by westerly and northwesterly winds in coastal waters; in winter, the southwesterly component is also strong, especially north of Cape Carvoeiro. The southern (Algarve) coastline, east from Cape St. Vincent, receives...


Salt Marsh Sandy Beach Rocky Shore Submarine Canyon Tectonic Subsidence 
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  1. Barceló JP (1975) On the Portuguese wave regime. Pro 14th Coast Eng Conf 112–131Google Scholar
  2. Castanho JP, Gomes NA, Mota Oliveira IB, Simoes JP (1981) Coastal erosion caused by harbour works on the Portuguese coast and corrective measures. Proc of the 25th P I A N C, Section 2(15):877–898Google Scholar
  3. Psuty NP, Moreira ME (1990) Nourishment of a cliffed coastline, Praia da Rocha, the Algarve, Portugal. J Coastal Res Special Issue 6:21–32Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlos Morais*
    • 1
  1. 1.National Laboratory of Civil EngineeringLisbonPortugal