Complete information on the Classification of the Indian coastline



Although generally, coastlines and shorelines have not been distinguished and the two terms have been used synonymously, there may be justification for doing so.

In the case of Shepard's Primary coasts, the land behind shore is fundamental. Likewise in the retreating coasts of Valentin terrestrial topography and the structure of the coast zone (e.g., young folded, old folded, flat-bedded) is very significant. However, it is difficult and sometimes unreal to apply the 'coastal' classifications to all areas and use the nomenclature suggested by Suess, Gregory, Supan and Von Richthofen. Ahmad has, therefore, classified Indian coasts by regional names and has mentioned their dominant characteristics:

1. The rugged foundered coasts of Andaman and Nicobar archipelago with north-south longitudinal structures;

2. The low-level plain coasts of deltas with deltaic hydrography and deposition;

3. The depositional plain east coast with dominance of river deposition;

4. Malabar coastal type with "high relief and irregular terrain;

5. Maharashtra coast of high relief, dissected terrain, faulted structures, marked by terrestrial and marine erosion with rias and cliffs;

6. Gujarat coast with marked gully erosion fronted by estuarine shore;

7. Kathiawar coast dominated by basalts and its mulled nature.

There is considerable gap between a theoretical classification and its practical application to actual cases. As for example it is one thing to put forward a dichotomous classification like retreating and advancing shorelines and quite another to prove from actual cases that this is a comprehensive global reality. Classification, however, is a necessity and it may be worthwhile to add further refinement to Johnson's classification, which is good in meaning, reality and comprehension.