Metropolitan France gains 3000 km of coastline


INFOGRAPHICS – The boundary between land and sea has just been recalculated. More precise measurements lengthen the coastline by more than 3000 km.

Endless ribs. How long is the French coast? If we are to believe the mathematician Benoît Mandelbrot, it is infinite, like the contours of clouds, the intestinal villi or the perimeter of a fern leaf. Because these structures are fractal, they repeat themselves whatever the scale. The chaos of bays, coves, points is redrawn in the same way, if we approach them or if we move away from them, if we zoom in or zoom out. Thus, the smaller the minimum unit of measurement, the greater the length measured.

The lace of the Côte de Granit Rose in Brittany is found on the scale of coves and even grains of sand! IGN/SHOM Geoportal

A limit dictated by the tide

It is with an accuracy of around 5 m that the land-sea limit has just been recalculated by the IGN (National Institute for Geographic and Forest Information) and the Shom (Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service of the Navy ). It is defined by the height of the sea level during high tides with a coefficient of 120, under normal meteorological conditions, without wind or depression. This is the limit…

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