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USGS Geology in the Parks

Flat Coast:

Flat coastal land is not only the substrate for forests, grasslands and other ecosystems, but also a favorite of developers. The level ground and lack of irregular rocky surfaces make for easier and more cost-effective building. Blasting, leveling, hauling of debris, or, alternatively, engineering for the existing surface are difficult, time-consuming and potentially very expensive. Because of this flat areas with sedimentary ground are a practical choice. It makes for good farming and easy travel. However, the same factors that make it a good choice for building also make it potentially hazardous should the areas protecting the flat coast from wind and waves deteriorate, or sea level change.

Gentle coastline
East Coast gentle continental rise to flat coast topography of South Carolina - as shown by the lack of abrupt color change both on the sea floor - which remains light blue, and onshore, which remains a low-lying green.
Abrupt shoreline
Abrupt offshore transition through light blue to darker blue - indicating deeper sea floor, off the coast of Connecticut.

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