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:
“Forced from home, and all its pleasures,
Africs coast I left forlorn;
To increase a strangers treasures,
Oer the raging billows borne.
Men from England bought and sold me,
Paid my price in paltry gold;
But, though theirs they have enrolld me,
Minds are never to be sold.”
—William Cowper (17311800)
“On the Coast of Coromandel
Where the early pumpkins blow,
In the middle of the woods
Lived the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo.
Two old chairs, and half a candle,
One old jug without a handle,
These were all his worldly goods:
In the middle of the woods,”
—Edward Lear (18121888)
“Frequently also some fair-weather finery ripped off a vessel by a storm near the coast was nailed up against an outhouse. I saw fastened to a shed near the lighthouse a long new sign with the words ANGLO SAXON on it in large gilt letters, as if it were a useless part which the ship could afford to lose, or which the sailors had discharged at the same time with the pilot. But it interested somewhat as if it had been a part of the Argo, clipped off in passing through the Symplegades.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)