Encyclopedia of the World's Coastal Landforms

2010 Edition
| Editors: Eric C. F. Bird

North Africa – Editorial Introduction

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8639-7_155

Africa stands on a tectonic plate that is advancing north towards Europe. North Africa has a number of structural units that influence the outlines of the coast, generally with an E–W trend (Orme 2005). The Nile delta dominates the Egyptian coast ( Egypt (Mediterranean)), where beaches and dunes are of quartzose sand supplied from river distributaries, but these pass westward into beaches and beach and dune ridges of calcareous sand, including Pleistocene dune calcarenites. Beach rock is commonly exposed.

In western Egypt and  Libya, the coast is low-lying with cliffs cut in Tertiary and Quaternary formations, including dune calcarenite. The Jebel el Akbar range in Cyrenaica (E. Libya) forms steep rocky coasts with terraces at several levels, then the low-lying coast between Benghazi and Cape Misratah, intersecting the Sirte Basin (filled with Tertiary sediment) is fringed by dune-capped barriers, lagoons, marshes and supratidal flats, notably Sabkha az Tayurglia. The Jabal Tarhuna...


Nile Delta African Plate Dune Ridge Beach Rock Eocene Limestone 
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  1. Orme AR (2005) Africa, coastal geomorphology. In: Schwartz ML (ed) Encyclopedia of Coastal Science. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 9–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010