Cove Definition: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

There are many different kinds of landforms on Earth. In this lesson, you'll learn about coves. Read on to find out what coves are, how they are formed, and why they were important to ancient people.

Coves Are Landforms

Landforms are natural features, such as mountains or rivers, that can be found on the surface of the Earth. One kind of landform is a cove.

Notice the Narrow Entrance to Peggys Cove in Nova Scotia

A cove is a sheltered body of water that has a restricted entrance. In other words, it's not wide open; to get into a cove, you would go through a small entrance. A cove can have either fresh or salt water, but they are always less than 1,000 feet across.

Coves Are Formed By Weathering

Coves are usually found in areas where there are particular kinds of rocks. The rocks found around many coves are soft rocks, such as limestone and sandstone, that can be easily worn away by wind, ice, and water. When rocks are broken down this way, we call it weathering or erosion. The rocks around the cove are worn away, leaving the harder rocks behind to form the shape of the cove. Erosion can also be caused by ocean waves.

Cathedral Cove in New Zealand

Coves are often found along the coast of the ocean, but they can also be found along the shores of lakes and rivers. Because of the small entrance to a cove, the water in the cove is usually calmer than that in other bodies of water, such as rivers or and oceans, which move a lot and can be quite fast. There are no waves or currents in a cove. The word 'cove' actually comes from the Old English word cofa, which means 'shelter.'

Coves Were Important

Archeologists, who are scientists that study things left behind by people who lived many years ago, have often found ancient settlements along the banks of coves. They believe that people lived near fresh water coves so that they would have a handy supply of water for drinking. They've also found that ancient people lived on the banks of saltwater coves near the ocean because they were handy for catching fish or seafood and for gaining access to the ocean for travel on ships.

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