Classified by substrate composition

The Alaska Shorezone Project spatial database classifies intertidal beaches in many ways. One of the most useful is substrate size.

Beaches can be subdivided into 3 groups:(1) exposed bedrock; (2) unconsolidated beaches with coarse material such as boulders, cobbles, or gravel; and (3) sand beaches. Note that estuaries are discussed on a separate page.

Community zonation on steep rocky beach.

Community zonation on steep rocky beach.

Here’s an annotated video showing beach zones:

beachcruise from Richard Carstensen on Vimeo.

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Intertidal Animals of Southeast Alaska


This laminated Discovery Guide helps you identify some commonly seen animals of Southeast Alaska’s rocky intertidal inside waters. It features an insightful layout, by tidepool depth.  And it’s laminated in case the tide rises too fast.  Go out and explore the tidepools!