Bench – Tide pools that have a flat or even top surface can be categorized as benches. They provide a large flat surface that is covered by water during parts of the day. These types of tidepools can maintain a variety of marine life that live in all types of tidal zones. Wave action is strong the ocean facing areas and calmer near the less exposed areas. They also contain cracks, surge channels and pools of water that can support s a wide variety of animals that is generally easy to see. Benches are also the easiest for visitors to walk on and navigate making bench tide pools the preferred geographic type.
Boulder/Rock Field – These types of tide pools are not as common as other geographic types. They are characterized by large areas with numerous small and medium sized rocks and boulders. The field is covered by water part of the day. Most tide pools of this type do not have as much wave action as other types as the waves will diminish in strength and speed as they move over the rock field. The lower wave action will limit the types of animals found in these tide pool areas. Tide pools of this type however support algae and animals ( like sea hares ) that prefer calmer areas and not normally found in more exposed areas.
Rocky Outcrop – Tide pools of this type area characterized by large rock formations that extend into the ocean and have part if not all of the rock formation covered by water at some time during the day. Formations of this type are typically not very easy to navigate and walk on. They do however support a wide variety of algae and animals that prefer high wave action and lots of water movement. Tidepools of this nature do not have animals that prefer calmer areas.