Encyclopedia of Coastal Science

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

Africa, Coastal Geomorphology

  • Antony R. OrmeEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-48657-4_3-2

The African continent measures 30 × 106 km2 and its relatively unbroken coastline is 30,000 km long, compared with the 70,000 km coast of Asia, which is only 1.5 times larger than Africa, and the 76,000 km coast of smaller North America (24 × 106 km2) with its numerous Arctic islands. Over long distances, the African coast is unbroken by sizable inlets, and its major river mouths, except the Congo, are either deltaic or blocked by sand barriers. Excepting Madagascar (587,000 km2), no large islands lie off the African coast.

Offshore, Africa’s continental shelf covers only 1.28 × 106 km2 compared with 9.39 × 106 km2 for Asia and 6.74 × 106 km2for North America. The shelf averages only 25 km in width, wider off southern Tunisia, Guinea, and major deltas, and reaching 240 km wide across the Agulhas Bank, but narrowing to 5 km off Somalia, northern Mozambique, and Kwa-Zulu. This narrow shelf and paucity of sheltering islands allow deep-water waves and surface ocean currents to approach...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Bibliography

  1. Alexander CS (1968) The marine terraces of the northern coast of Tanganyika. Z Geomorphol 7:133–154Google Scholar
  2. Allen JRL (1970) Sediments in the modern Niger delta: a summary and review. In: Morgan JP, Shaver RS (eds) Deltaic sedimentation, modern and ancient. Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists, Tulsa, pp 138–151. Special publication no. 15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ausseil-Badie J, Barusseau JP, Descamps C, Diop EHS, Giresse P, Pazdur M (1991) Holocene deltaic sequence in the Saloum estuary, Senegal. Quat Res 36:178–194CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barrett DM (1977) Agulhas Plateau off southern Africa: a geophysical study. Geol Soc Am Bull 88:749–763CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Battistini R (1978) Observations sur les cordons littoraux Pleistocènes et Holocènes de la côte est de Madagascar. Madagascar Revue de Géographie 35:9–37Google Scholar
  6. Braithwaite CJR (1982) Patterns of accretion of reefs in the Sudanese Red Sea. Mar Geol 46:297–325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Busson G, Perthuisot J-P (1977) Intérêt de la Sebkha el Melah (Sudtunisien) pour l’interprétation des séries evaporatiques anciennes. Sediment Geol 19:139–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cooper JAG (1993) Sedimentation in a river-dominated estuary. Sedimentology 40:979–1017CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Davies JL (1977) Geographical variation in coastal development. Longmans, LondonGoogle Scholar
  10. Dingle RV (1973) Post-Paleozoic stratigraphy of the eastern Agulhas Bank, South Africa continental margin. Mar Geol 15:1–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dingle RV, Scrutton RA (1974) Continental breakup and the development of post-Paleozoic sedimentary basins around southern Africa. Geol Soc Am Bull 85:1467–1474CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ebisemiju FS (1987) An evaluation of factors controlling present rates of shoreline retrogradation in the western Niger delta, Nigeria. Catena 14:1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. El-Ashry M (1985) Egypt. In: Bird ECF, Schwartz ML (eds) The world’s coastline. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, pp 513–517Google Scholar
  14. Frihy OE, Komar PD (1991) Patterns of beach-sand sorting and shoreline erosion of the Nile Delta. J Sediment Petrol 61:544–550Google Scholar
  15. Gilchrist AR, Summerfield MA (1990) Differential denudation and flexural isostasy in formation of rifted-margin upwarps. Nature 346:739–742CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Glen JMG, Renne PR, Milner SC, Coe RS (1997) Magma flow inferred from anistrophy of magnetic susceptibility in the coastal Paraná–Etendeka igneous province: evidence of rifting before flood volcanism. Geology 25:1131–1134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Guilcher A (1985) Senegal and Gambia. In: Bird ECF, Schwartz ML (eds) The world’s coastline. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, pp 555–560Google Scholar
  18. Guilcher A, Medeiros CA, Matos JE, Oliveira JT (1974) Les restingas (flèches littorales), d’Angola. Finisterra 9:171–211Google Scholar
  19. Hayden B, Vincent M, Resio D, Biscoe C, Dolan R (1973) Classification of the coastal environments of the world: part II – Africa. Office of Naval Research, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  20. Hobday DK, Orme AR (1975) The Port Durnford Formation: a major Pleistocene barrier–lagoon complex along the Zululand coast. Trans Geol Soc S Afr 77:141–149Google Scholar
  21. Hori N (1970) Raised coral reefs along the southeastern coast of Kenya, East Africa. Geogr Rep Tokyo Metropolitan Univ 5:25–47Google Scholar
  22. Hospers J (1971) The geology of the Niger delta area. In: Delaney FM (ed) The geology of the East Atlantic continental margin. ICSU/SCOR, London, pp 125–142Google Scholar
  23. Illenberger WK, Rust IC (1988) A sand budget for the Alexandria dunefield, South Africa. Sedimentology 35:513–521CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kocurek G, Havholm KG, Deynoux M, Blakey RC (1991) Amalgamated accumulations resulting from climatic and eustatic changes, Akchar Erg, Mauritania. Sedimentology 38:751–772CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lancaster N (1996) Desert environments. In: Adams WM, Goudie AS, Orme AR (eds) The physical geography of Africa. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 211–237Google Scholar
  26. Maugé LA, Ségoufin J, Vernier E, Froget C (1982) Géomorphologie et origine des bancs du nord-est du Canal de Mozambique – Ocean Indien Occidental. Mar Geol 47:37–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. McMaster RL, Lachance TP, Ashraf A, de Boer J (1971) Geomorphology, structure, and sediment of the continental shelf and upper slope off Portuguese Guinea, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. In: Delany FM (ed) The geology of the East Atlantic continental margin. ICSU/SCOR, London, pp 109–119Google Scholar
  28. Mergner H, Schuhmacher H (1985) Quantitative Analyse von Korallengmeinschafter des Danganeb Atolls, Mittleres Rotes Meer. Helgoländer Meersun 39:375–417CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Milani EJ, Filho AT (2000) Sedimentary basins of South America. In: Codani UG, Milani EJ, Filho AT, Campos DA (eds) Tectonic evolution of South America. International Geological Congress, Rio de Janeiro, pp 389–449Google Scholar
  30. Milliman JD, Syvitski JPM (1992) Geomorphic/tectonic control of sediment discharge to the ocean: the importance of small mountainous rivers. J Geol 100:525–544CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Orme AR (1973) Barrier and lagoon systems along the Zululand coast, South Africa. In: Coates DR (ed) Coastal geomorphology. State University of New York Press, Binghamton, pp 181–217Google Scholar
  32. Orme AR (1974) Estuarine sedimentation along the Natal coast. Office of Naval Research, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  33. Orme AR (1976) Late Pleistocene channels and Flandrian sediments beneath Natal estuaries. Ann S Afr Mus 71:78–85Google Scholar
  34. Orme AR (1982) Africa, coastal morphology. In: Schwartz ML (ed) The encyclopedia of beaches and coastal environments. Hutchinson Ross, Stroudsburg, pp 17–32Google Scholar
  35. Orme AR (1985) Somalia. In: Bird ECF, Schwartz ML (eds) The world’s coastline. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, pp 703–711Google Scholar
  36. Orme AR (1996) Coastal environments. In: Adams WM, Goudie AS, Orme AR (eds) The physical geography of Africa. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 238–266Google Scholar
  37. Orme AR (2002) Tectonism, climate, and landscape. In: Orme AR (ed) The physical geography of North America. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 3–35Google Scholar
  38. Paskoff RP (1978) Evolution de l’embouchure de la Medjerda (Tunisie). Photo-Interprét 5:1–23Google Scholar
  39. Sarnthein M, Walger E (1974) Der Aolische Sandstrom aus der W-Sahara zur Atlantikkuste. Geol Rundsch 63:1065–1087CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Stanley DJ (1990) Recent subsidence and northeast tilting of the Nile delta, Egypt. Mar Geol 94:147–154CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Steiner C, Hobson A, Favre P, Hernandez J (1998) Mesozoic sequence of Fuerteventura (Canary Islands): witness of early Jurassic sea-floor spreading in the central Atlantic. Geol Soc Am Bull 110:1304–1317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Stocking MA (1996) Soil erosion. In: Adams WM, Goudie AS, Orme AR (eds) The physical geography of Africa. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 326–341Google Scholar
  43. Summerfield RA (1996) Tectonics, geology, and long-term landscape development. In: Adams WM, Goudie AS, Orme AR (eds) The physical geography of Africa. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 1–17Google Scholar
  44. Uchupi E, Emery KO (1991) Pangaean divergent margins: historical perspective. Mar Geol 102:1028CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Walling DE (1996) Hydrology and rivers. In: Adams WM, Goudie AS, Orme AR (eds) The physical geography of Africa. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 103–121Google Scholar
  46. Weisrock A (1980) Géomorphologie et Paléo-environments de l’Atlas Atlantique. Service Géologique du Maroc, RabatGoogle Scholar
  47. Ziegler AM, Hulver ML, Crowley DB (1997) Permian world topography and climate. In: Martini IP (ed) Late glacial and postglacial environmental changes: quaternary, Carboniferous-Permian, and Proterozoic. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 111–146Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA