Coastal Environment - Constructive and Destructive Waves

Use these revision cards to help you revise the types of waves for your AQA Geography B exam.

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Constructive Waves

Characteristics of constructive waves;

  • long wave shape
  • low waves
  • strong swash
  • weak backwash

Effects of constructive waves;

  • sediment is deposited on the beach
  • sediment is not taken from the beach
  • beach is constructed, hence the name
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Destructive Waves

Characteristics of destructive waves;

  • short waves
  • steep waves
  • forceful
  • strong backwash
  • weak swash

Effects of destructive waves;

  • sediment is taken from beach
  • sediment is not deposited
  • causes the destruction of beaches, hence the name.
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Key Words for this Section

Constructive waves; waves that cause build up of sediment

Destructive waves; waves that cause destruction of beaches

Sediment; any eroded material transported by the sea

Swash; movement of waves up the beach

Backwash; movement of waves down the beach.

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