Encyclopedia of the World's Coastal Landforms

2010 Edition
| Editors: Eric C. F. Bird


  • Ervin Otvos
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8639-7_9


Alabama has an embayed mainland coast with broad lagoons, including Mobile Bay and Perdido Bay, behind a sandy barrier island (Dauphin Island) that continues eastward as the Morgan Peninsula, extending to the Florida border ( Fig. 1.8.1). Much of the coastal plain is occupied by the dissected Upland Surface, underlain by late Pliocene deposits. Bluff-bounded, deeply incised wide valleys in the Mobile-Tensaw River system are associated with extensive valley-floor wetlands and a large marshy delta at the head of Mobile Bay. The narrow Holocene coastal plain east of Mobile Bay includes a beach ridge complex, interspersed with narrow lagoons, inlets, paralic lakes and marshes. The outer coast is bordered by a sandy barrier beach, 20 km long and 2–4 km wide, with dunes on the Morgan Peninsula. A large compound barrier spit at the mouth of the bay has narrowed the entrance to Mobile Bay.


Coastal Plain Barrier Island Oyster Reef Beach Ridge Nearshore Zone 
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  1. Otvos EG (2004) Lithofacies and depositional environments of the Pliocene Citronelle formation, Gulf of Mexico coastal plain. Southeast Geol 20:1–20Google Scholar
  2. Otvos EG (2005) Coastal barriers, Gulf of Mexico: Holocene evolution and chronology. J Coastal Res SI-42:141–163Google Scholar
  3. Otvos EG, Carter GA (2008) Hurricane degradation-barrier development cycles, northeastern Gulf of Mexico: Landform evolution and island chain history. J Coastal Res 24:463–478CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Rodriguez AB, Meyer CT (2006) Sea-level variations during the Holocene deduced from the morphologic and stratigraphic evolution of Morgan Peninsula, Alabama, U.S.A. J Sed Res 76:257–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ervin Otvos
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SouthernMississippiUSA