Depositional Landforms

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  • Depositional landforms.
    • Swash-aligned
      • wave crests approach parallel to the coast, meaning longshore movement of sediment is limited.
    • Drift-aligned
      • wave crests break at an angle to the coast, so there is consistent longshore drift, forming elongated depositional features.
    • Longshore drift is the key source which transfers sediment down a coast. sediment transported down river systems is also important.
      • Flocculation- when tiny particles are transferred in water and clump together (i.e. clay).
      • gravity settling- when wave energy becomes too low to transfer sediment, larger particles are lost first.
    • Spit
      • a beach ridge which extends past the turn at the end of a continuous coastline. the longshore drift dissipates and loses energy as it nears the edge, leading to deposition. The length of the spit is determined by the presence of secondary currents.
        • Spurn Head, Holderness coast, Yorkshire.
    • Bayhead
      • Where waves break 90* to the shoreline and move sediment into a bay. due to the movement of the wave, erosion is focused on the headlands and deposited in the bay. (due to wave refraction).
        • Lulworth cove, Dorset
    • Tombolo
      • A sand or shingle bar which attaches to an island offshore, due to wave refraction around the island. this creates an area of calm water between the land and island, so deposition is frequent here. (Similar to a spit).
        • St Ninian's tombolo, Shetland.
    • Bar (barrier beach)
      • A sand or shingle beach connecting two areas of land with a shallow lagoon of water behind it. this occurs when a spit grows so long that it extends across a bay and closes it off.
        • Chesil Beach, Dorset.
    • Hooked/ recurved spit
      • A spit who's end is curved landward, into a bay or inlet. it curves into shallower water, and can be made by waves from a secondary direction.
        • Hurst Castle spit, Hampshire.
    • Cuspate foreland
      • a triangular shaped landform which is thought to be formed by two spits from opposing shoreline directions.
        • Dungeness, Kent


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