The Wetland Book pp 1501-1506 | Cite as

Coastal Wetlands

  • Vic Semeniuk
  • Christine A. Semeniuk
Reference work entry


Coastal wetlands are terrains subject to wetting by coastal processes (daily wetting by tides, or wave swash and run-up, and storm surges and atmospheric-depression-induced high-water stands). Coastal wetlands do not include subtidal environments – that is the realm of the marine environment. Classifications of coastal wetlands derive from two approaches: the first is centred on coastal ecosystems, resulting in six major categories based on identifying the overriding source of stress or energy, and often linking classes to species distribution; the second focuses on geomorphic coastal types, which categorizes coastal types on their physical attributes and origin, linking coasts to morphology, evolution, and tectonic, oceanographic, or climatic setting. Geomorphically, coasts in this contribution are classed at three scales: the megascale (e.g., identifying estuaries and deltas), the mesoscale (identifying units such as beaches and tidal flats), and the microscale (identified by features such as tidal level, substrates, biota, and salinity).


Coastal classification Coastal wetlands Coastal ecosystems Coastal geomorphology 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.V and C Semeniuk Research GroupWarwickAustralia

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