Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2010, Vol. 65 ›› Issue (3): 320-330.doi: 10.11821/xb201003007

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Shape and Spatial Distribution Features of Marine Potholes on the Coast of Shenzhen, China

WANG Wei, XU Liu-bing, WU Zheng, HUANG Shan   

  1. Geography and Quaternary Environment Institute, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
  • Received:2009-08-21 Revised:2009-10-12 Online:2010-03-30 Published:2010-03-30
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40871020; No.40601012; Guangdong Natural Science Foundation, No.7005836


A detail measurement is made for the coastal potholes on Xichong coast of Dapeng Peninsula, Guangdong. Classical and spatial statistics are used to quantitatively describe the features of the pothole shape, pothole spatial distribution and how the pothole development affect the shore platform of the coast. Results show that (1) The coastal potholes tend to form at the weaknesses appearing in coastal rock, such as joints, faults and bedding planes, and the shape and the distribution of the potholes are controlled by the weaknesses and, however, the specific position of the weakness where a pothole formed is random. (2) The result of pothole forming, deepening and expanding is to break down the second shore platforms, but the downward erosion of the potholes does not exceed the low tide level of the local coast. (3) Coastal potholes are the products of modern coastal erosion processes and can be formed at anytime, as long as the suitable conditions, such as coastal dynamic environments and rocks, are available. (4) The morphological features of marine potholes are not only related to the fluid dynamics, but also to the rock hardness and the different stages in their development. (5) Like river potholes, marine potholes can develop in all types of rocks and originate from different kinds of small pits on the rock surface. (6) The difference between coastal and river dynamics leads to the difference in marine and river pothole shapes.

Key words: coastal pothole, spatial analysis, rocky coast, shape feature, Xichong coast