Not all Puget Sound shorelines look the same. Some are rocky, some are sandy. Some are steep bluffs and rocky cliffs, others are broad salt marshes or tide flats. These differences reflect the geology of the coastline and the way in which it has been shaped by waves and tides.
Puget Sound shorelines can be generally divided into four different types: Rocky coasts, bluffs and beaches, smaller embayments, and large river deltas. Within each of these broad categories, there may be a variety of smaller landforms (sometimes called shoreforms). Embayments include a variety of lagoons and estuaries. Beaches include barrier beaches such as spits. These landforms are shaped by tidal processes and geomorphic proc-esses such as the erosion and deposition of sediment. The different land-forms may give rise to very different ecological processes and functions.
Open Coastal Inlets
Closed Lagoons & Marshes
Large River Deltas
Wave dominated deltas
A Geomorphic Classification of Puget Sound Nearshore Landforms