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Coastline of Cornwall County, England – November 22nd, 2011

50.3N 5W

November 22nd, 2011 Category: Image of the day

United Kingdom - November 8th, 2011

This orthorectified image shows the county of Cornwall, England, which forms the tip of the south-west peninsula of the island of Great Britain. The coastline is composed mainly of resistant rocks that give rise in many places to impressive cliffs.

The north and south coasts have different characteristics. The north coast on the Celtic Sea, part of the Atlantic Ocean, is more exposed and therefore has a wilder nature. The prosaically named High Cliff, between Boscastle and St Gennys, is the highest sheer-drop cliff in Cornwall at 223 metres (732 ft). However, there are also many extensive stretches of fine golden sand beaches. There are two river estuaries on the north coast: Hayle Estuary and the estuary of the River Camel, which provides Padstow and Rock with a safe harbour.

The south coast, dubbed the “Cornish Riviera”, is more sheltered and there are several broad estuaries offering safe anchorages, such as at Falmouth and Fowey. Beaches on the south coast usually consist of coarser sand and shingle, interspersed with rocky sections of wave-cut platform.

The interior of the county consists of a roughly east-west spine of infertile and exposed upland, with a series of granite intrusions, such as Bodmin Moor, which contains the highest land within Cornwall. From east to west, and with approximately descending altitude, these are Bodmin Moor, the area north of St Austell, the area south of Camborne, and the Penwith or Land’s End peninsula.

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