coastal change

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  • Created by: Grace
  • Created on: 10-06-12 11:45
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Depositional Landforms
Beaches are a common feature of a coastline.
Beaches are made up of eroded material that has been transported from elsewhere and deposited by the sea.
Constructive waves help to build up beaches.
The material found on a beach varies in size and type as you move further away from the shoreline.
The smallest material is deposited near the water and larger material is found nearer to the cliffs at the back of the beach.
Large material is deposited at the back of the beach in times of high energy, for example during a storm.
Most waves break near the shoreline, so sediment near the water is more effectively broken down by attrition.
Sandy beaches have gently sloping profiles and shingle and pebble beaches are steeper.
Spits are also created by deposition.
A spit is an extended stretch of beach material that projects out to sea and is joined to the mainland at one end.
Spits are formed where the prevailing wind blows at an angle to the coastline, resulting in longshore drift.
An example of a spit is Spurn Head, found along the Holderness coast in Humberside.
The development of Spurn Head
Longshore drift moves material along the coastline.
A spit forms when the material is deposited.
Over time, the spit grows and develops a hook if wind direction changes further out.
Waves cannot get past a spit, which creates a sheltered area where silt is deposited and mud flats or salt marshes form.
A tombolo is a spit connecting an island to the mainland.
An example of a tombolo is Chesil Beach, which connects the Isle of Portland to the mainland of the Dorset coast.
Chesil Beach stretches for 18 miles. Lagoons have formed behind the stretch of beach material
Coastal transport
There are four ways that waves and tidal currents transport sediment.
These can then contribute to the movement of sediment by longshore drift.
Process Description

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Solution Minerals are dissolved in sea water and carried in solution. The load is not visible. Load can come from cliffs made from chalk or
limestone, and calcium carbonate is carried along in solution.
Suspensio Small particles are carried in water, eg silts and clays, which can make the water look cloudy. Currents pick up large amounts of
n sediment in suspension during a storm, when strong winds generate high energy waves.…read more

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The backwash carries the rubble towards sea forming a wave-cut platform.
5. The process repeats and the cliff continues to retreat.
Headlands and bays
Headlands are formed when the sea attacks a section of coast with alternating bands of hard and soft rock.
The bands of soft rock, such as sand and clay, erode more quickly than those of more resistant rock, such as chalk.
This leaves a section of land jutting out into the sea called a headland.…read more

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A concordant coastline has the same type of rock along its length. Concordant coastlines tend to have fewer bays
and headlands.
Discordant and concordant coasts in Dorset
Along the coastline of the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, there are both discordant and concordant coastlines.
The discordant coastline has been formed into Studland Bay (soft rock), Ballard Point (hard rock), Swanage Bay
(soft rock) and Durlston Head (hard rock).
After Durlston Head, the strata stop alternating and the coastline is made up of hard rock.…read more

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If the cave is formed in a headland, it may eventually break through to the
other side forming an arch.
The arch will gradually become bigger until it can no longer support the top of the arch. When the arch collapses,
it leaves the headland on one side and a stack (a tall column of rock) on the other.
The stack will be attacked at the base in the same way that a wave-cut notch is formed.…read more

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Hard engineering solutions
Type of defence Pros and cons
Building a sea wall What is it?
A wall built on the edge of the coastline. Concrete or rock barrier to the sea placed at the foot of cliffs or at the top of
a beach. Has a curved face to reflect the waves back into the sea, usually
3-5m high. It costs approx. £6 million per km
Protects the base of cliffs, land and buildings against erosion. Can prevent
coastal flooding in some areas.…read more

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Beach management
This replaces beach or cliff material that has been removed by erosion or longshore drift and it also makes the
beach higher or broade, and the replaced material blend in with the existing beach materials.
The main advantage is that beaches are a natural defence against erosion and coastal flooding. Beaches also attract
tourists and with beach management it can increase tourist potential by creating a bigger beach.…read more

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Sand beaches are flat and wide-sand particles are small and the weak backwash can move them back down the
beach, creating a long, gentle slope, like in Filey.…read more


Mr A Gibson

You absolutely need this in your folder! It is really useful because it is accurate, well presented, clear and easy to understand. Get this printed out and start revising from it.

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