The coast of the Netherlands is dominated by barriers situated in front of a 50- to 100- km-wide, low-lying back-barrier area of heavily populated, reclaimed and cultivated tidal flats, estuaries and marshes. In the south, beyond Belgium, the barrier is connected to the mainland of Cap Blanc Nez of northwestern France. In the Netherlands, it follows the overall morphology of the Pleistocene subsurface as it connects the watersheds of the Late Weichselian drainage systems. Although the present morphology of the Dutch coast is strongly modified by tides and waves, first-order features, such as the change in strike from almost S-N in the west to almost W-E in the north, are completely defined by the Pleistocene morphology. Farther east, the barrier continues in German territory.


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