A coastline or seashore is the area where land meets the sea or ocean. A precise line that can be called a coastline cannot be determined due to the dynamic nature of tides. The term "coastal zone" can be used instead, which is a spatial zone where interaction of the sea and land processes occurs. Both the terms coast and coastal are often used to describe a geographic location or region; for example, New Zealand's West Coast, or the East and West Coasts of the United States.
A pelagic coast refers to a coast which fronts the open ocean, as opposed to a more sheltered coast in a gulf or bay. A shore, on the other hand, can refer to parts of the land which adjoin any large body of water, including oceans (sea shore) and lakes (lake shore). Similarly, the somewhat related term "bank" refers to the land alongside or sloping down to a river (riverbank) or to a body of water smaller than a lake. "Bank" is also used in some parts of the world to refer to an artificial ridge of earth intended to retain the water of a river or pond. In other places this may be called a levee.
While many scientific experts might agree on a common definition of the term "coast", the delineation of the extents of a coast differ according to jurisdiction, with many scientific and government authorities in various countries differing for economic and social policy reasons.
Famous quotes containing the word coast:
“Too many Broadway actors in motion pictures lost their grip on successhad a feeling that none of it had ever happened on that sun-drenched coast, that the coast itself did not exist, there was no California. It had dropped away like a hasty dream and nothing could ever have been like the things they thought they remembered.”
—Mae West (18921980)
“How happy is the sailors life,
From coast to coast to roam;
In every port he finds a wife,
In every land a home.”
—Isaac Bickerstaffe (c. 17351812)
“The Boston papers had never told me that there were seals in the harbor. I had always associated these with the Esquimaux and other outlandish people. Yet from the parlor windows all along the coast you may see families of them sporting on the flats. They were as strange to me as the merman would be. Ladies who never walk in the woods, sail over the sea. To go to sea! Why, it is to have the experience of Noah,to realize the deluge. Every vessel is an ark.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)