Coasts Key Words 1

Key words and definitions for year 8 secondary school Coasts in geography.

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  • Coasts - Key Words
    • Coast
      • The edge of the land where the land meets the sea
    • Wave
      • A visibly long body of water curling into an arched form and breaking on the shore
      • Constructive Wave
        • A powerful wave with a strong swash and a weak backwash that rushes up the shore. They are long in relation to their height, are usually less frequent and are responsible for deposition along the coastline.
      • Destructive Wave
        • A powerful wave formed during small storms with a strong backwash and a weak swash. They are tall in relation to their length, are usually more frequent and are responsible for greater amounts of erosion.
    • Swash (uprush)
      • The term given to the forward motion of the wave up the beach/shore.
    • Backwash
      • The backward movement of water down a beach once the wave has broken.
    • Crest
      • The term given to the very top of the wave as it rolls into shore.
      • Trough
        • The term given to the depression between two wave crests. Usually, the longer the trough, the less frequent the waves.
    • Fetch
      • The length of water the wind blows over before it meets the coast. The longer the fetch, the bigger the wave.
    • Prevailing Wind
      • The term given to the wind that blows most often. In the UK that is a south-westerly wind.


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