Coastal Waters

Coastal Waters

Synonyms

coastal water

Definition

Coastal waters are typically characterized by a shallow continental shelf, gently sloping seaward to a continental slope, which drops relatively abruptly to the deep ocean. The proximity of coastal water to land also influences the water circulation. In the vicinity of freshwater inflows, the nearshore circulation is altered by the presence of density-driven motions. Coastal waters are under enormous environmental stress, caused by a wide range of factors including pollution and the destruction and deterioration of marine habitats.