Coasts Revision Cards


Constructive Wave

A powerful wave with a strong swash that surges up a beach usually forming a berm.

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A ridge or plateu on the beach formed by the deposition of beach material by wave action.

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Destructive Wave

A wave formed by a local storm that crashes onto a beach and has a powerful backwash.

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Offshore Bars

Submerged (or partly exposed) ridges of sand or coarse sediment created by waves offshore from the coast.

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Raised beach

The result of isostatic recovery which raises wave-cut platforms and their beaches above the present sea level.

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Submarine Volcanoes

Volcanoes formed beneaththe sea (either a single evnt or fissure volcano), where lava is emitted alond a crack in the Earth's crust.

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Sediments being carried along within a water body.

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Ridge of beach matierial that has formed between an island and the mainland.

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Coastal Morphology

The origin and evolution of the coast.

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Cresent- shaped beach formations with graded sediment; coarse material collects at the 'horns' and finer matireal collects in the 'bay' area.

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Wave Refraction

The distortion of wave fronts as they approach an indented shoreline. Wave refraction causes energy to be concentrated at headlands and dissapted in bays. This accounts for the precense of erosive features at headlands (cliffs etc.) and deposional features in bays (Beaches).

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Rip Currents

Strong localised underwater cureents that occur on some beaches. They can be very dangerous to swimmers and surfers.  They are commonly found when a seires of plunging waves cause a temporary build up of water at the top of the beach. 

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Tides are changes in the water level of seas and oceans caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and to a lesser extent the sun.

The UK expeirences two high and two low tides a day.

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High Energy Coastline

They are quite often rocky coasts.

In the UK:

Stretches of the atlantic facing coast, where the waves are powerful for much of the year.

Where the rate of erosion exceeds the rate of depsotion.

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Low Energy Coastline

These tend to be sandy and estuarine coasts.

In the UK: 

Stetches of the coast wheer the waves are less powerful, or where the coast is sheltered from large waves .

Rate of deposition exceeds rate of erosion.

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Sources of Sediment - Rivers

Sediment that is transported in rivers often accounts for the vast majority of coastal sediment.

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Sources of Sediment - Cliff Erosion

This can be extremley important locally in areas of relativley soft or unconsoildated rocks. As rock fall from cliff they add to the sources of sediment.

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Sources of Sediment - Long-shore drift

Sediment is transported from one strecth of coastline to the other and to other coastlines.

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Sources of Sediment - Wind

Wind-blown sand can be deposited in coastal regions.

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Sources of Sediment - Glaciers

Ice shelves carve (chunks of ice breaking off a glacier or ice sheet) into the sea, depositing sediment that has been trapped within the ice.

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Sources of Sediment - Offshore

Sediment from offshore can be transferred into the coastal zone by waves, tides and currents. 

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Wave Quarrying

This is the action of waves breaking against unconsolidated material such as sands and gravels.

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