Submergent coastline

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A submergent landform: the drowned river valley (ria) of Georges River, Sydney

Submergent coastlines are stretches along the coast that have been inundated by the sea due to a relative rise in sea levels. This occurs due to either isostacy or eustacy.

Submergent coastline are the opposite of emergent coastlines which have experienced a relative fall in sea-levels.

Features of a submergent coastline are:

  • drowned river valleys or rias
  • drowned glaciated valleys or fjords.

Estuaries are often the drowned mouths of rivers.

The Western Coastal Plains of the Indian subcontinent are examples of submergent coastline. An ancient city of Dvārakā, mentioned in the great epic Mahabharata, is under water now. The coastline also forms the estuaries of the Narmada and Tapti rivers.