Coastal Benthic Environments

The benthic region of the ocean initiates from the shore line and extends downward along with the surface of the continental shelf out to the sea. The continental shelf is a mildly inclining benthic region that extends away from the land mass. At the continental shelf edge, it is usually around 200 meters deep, the gradient considerably increases and is known as the continental slope. This continental slope drops down to the deep-sea floor.

As the benthic system controls energy in the aquatic ecosystems, studies have been made of the mechanisms of the benthic zone to a better understanding of the ecosystem. Initial research is being made on benthic assemblages to see whether they can be used as indicators of healthy aquatic ecosystems. Benthic accumulations in urbanized coastal regions are not functionally equivalent to benthic accumulations in untouched regions.