Tales of the Coast
America's Coasts


Artic Coastal Plains

Beyond the Alaska Peninsula and bordering the Bering Sea, extensive coastal plains are found with numerous lakes and meandering streams. Only a few mountain ranges extend as points into the sea. The Yukon River has formed a large delta with many old lobes that form a vast plain connecting small, elevated tracts. The oldest is located in the now-drowned mouth of the Kuskokwim River. One reason this coast differs from the glaciated coast of southern Alaska is because it was largely ice-free during the Pleistocene era.

Map of United States showing Alaska

Source: NationalAtlas.gov

Arctic Coastal Plains

Permafrost becomes more common in the northern portions of the Arctic coastal plains. When permafrost melts, it can leave previously frozen coastal lands vulnerable to erosion by waves. Melting of permafrost due to climatic changes could have significant impacts on the geomorphology and ecosystems in the region.