GCSE Geography Glossary Of Key Terms (Coasts)

A brief glossary outlining the key terms for Coasts/coastal erosion.

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  • Created by: Ashleigh
  • Created on: 12-11-12 16:43
Preview of GCSE Geography Glossary Of Key Terms (Coasts)

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Erosion- Waves gradually destroying rock
Hydraulic action- Water goes into the cracks of a rock and breaks it up
Abrasion- Where the waves fling sand, pebbles and large stones against
the rock
Attrition- Where chunks of rock get knocked together and gradually
decrease in size
Deposition- Waves continually carry material on and off of the land
Coastline- Where the land and sea meet
Fetch- Distance the wave travels
Swash- Water that goes up the beach
Backwash- Water which goes down the beach
Weathering- The effect weather, plants and animals have on rock
Freeze-thaw- Water gets into rocks and freezes, as it does so it expands
Sea wall- Reflects waves and can hold the waves breaking on it
Revetment- A concrete wall that is laid like a carpet along the coast
Gabions- Wire baskets filled with stones
Groynes- A low wall that traps sand and reduces erosion
Rip-rap- Man made boulders that break up the waves
Beach rebuilding- Replaces material lost by erosion
Offshore breakwater- protects shore from all waves
A spit- An accumulation of sand with one end attached to the land and the
other reaching out across an estuary or into the sea
Corrosion- The way which rivers use the rocks that they carry to batter and
erode the land
Headland- A landform created by erosion
Sea cave- Caused by further erosion of a crack
Arch- Caused by further erosion of a sea cave
Stack- Caused by collapse of an arch
Stump- Formed when a stack is eroded
Longshore drift- Where sediment is moved along the coastline due to
swash and backwash
Constructive wave- A low-frequency spilling wave with a long wavelength
Destructive wave- A plunging wave with a short wavelength and a high
Onion skin weathering- Peeling of rocks outer layers due to stress
Biological weathering- A form of weathering caused by the activities of
living organisms
Chemical weathering- The breakdown of the original minerals within a rock
to produce new minerals


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