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Marine Places

Devon Ria Coast

Much of the south coast of the English county of Devon consists of the drowned valleys of the Dart, Avon, Yealm, and Erme rivers, and the Salcombe–Kingsbridge Estuary. The inlets, also known as rias, are separated by rugged cliffs and headlands. This beautiful coastal area was formed by the partial flooding of valleys, through which small rivers once flowed, as a result of global sea-level rise since the last ice age. The rise in sea level has been accentuated by the fact that the southern and eastern parts of Britain have been tipping downward since the last ice age at a rate of up to 7 in (16 cm) per century, a trend that continues today.

Devon Ria Coastzoom image
  • Atlantic Ocean Northeast
  • Type Primary coast
  • Formation Former river valleys drowned by sea-level rise
  • Extent About 60 miles (100 km)
  • Location Between Plymouth and Torbay, southwestern coast of England, UK
Devon Ria Coast habitat mapzoom image