Geological and Geomorphological Factors as a RELEVANT CIRCUMSTANCES in delimitation process in law of the sea and customary international law

While geology relates to the composition and structure of the seabed, geomorphology concerns its shape and form. In general, international courts and tribunals attribute limited importance to geological and geomorphological factors. A reason is that currently coastal States may claim the continental shelf as well as an EEZ/FZ of 200 miles, regardless of the geological or geomorphological characteristics of the area. As a result, geological and geomorphological factors become irrelevant in the process of delimitation. With respect to single maritime boundaries, the application of neutral criteria and geometrical methods will also contribute to disregarding geological and geomorphological factors.
State practice also shows that in the majority of agreements, the characteristics of the seabed did not have a significant effect on the location of maritime boundaries. Even when those factors are considered, they usually play only a secondary role, either for fixing terminal points of the boundary or together with other elements including economic and navigational interests.

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