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Waves are created by the action of wind on the surface of the sea.

They are created by the frictional drag of wind and the transfer of energy from
the wind blowing over the sea surface.

The energy waves possess is determined by:
- Wind velocity wind speed

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Why Waves Break
Wave motion is confined to a depth of one wavelength in the open sea.

Particles within the wave follow a circular orbit but do not actually change their
position greatly; it is the energy in the shape of the waveform that moves.

This orbital movement is affected…

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Constructive Waves
Constructive waves build beaches.

They are characterised by longer wavelengths and lower height and wave

The swash on these waves is greater than the backwash, as the spilling water
has time to percolate into the beach.

This results in sediment being added to the beach which the…

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Constructive Waves Destructive Waves
Lower wave height Taller wave height
Less frequent waves More frequent waves
Produces build-up of beach material Moves sediment away from the beach
Strong swash and less powerful Strong backwash and less powerful
backwash swash
Longer wavelength Shorter wavelength
Spilling breaker Plunging breaker



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Wave refraction
It is very rare for waves to approach a regular uniform coastline, as most have a
variety of bays, beaches and headlands.

Because of these features, the depth of water around a coast varies and as a wave
approaches a coast its progress is modified due to friction…

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Sediment Sources and
The coastal sediment or littoral cell system is a simplified model that examines
coastal processes and patterns in a given area.

Sources of sediment at the coast include coastal erosion, the sediment transported
by rivers and the wind, the biogenic input and marine deposits transported either…

Page 7

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The gravitational pull of the moon and the sun creates tides on the earth.

Tides are regular rising and falling movements of the surface of the sea.

This is caused by the gravitational pull of the moon as it moves around the earth.

The moon has the greatest influence;…


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