• Waves and Tides
  • The waves at work
  • Landforms created by the waves
  • Cliff collapse!
  • Coast Eroding
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Waves and Tides

  • The stronger the wind the longer it blows, the longer the fetch the larger the waves will be and more energy they'll have.
  • Swash - the water that rushes up the beach when a wave breaks.
  • Backwash - the water that rolls back down a beach after a wave has broken.
  • Backwash more energy than the awash = the waves eat at the land.
  • Swash more energy then the backwash = materials left on the land.
  • The moon attracts the sea and pulls it upwards and the rise and the fall of the sea gives us the tides.
  • High tide - is when the tide is in at the coastal town
  • Low tide - is when the tide is out, leaving the boats resting on mud.
  • High tides occur about every twelve and a half hours, with low tides in between.
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The waves at work

  • Waves erode the coast
  • Waves deposit in sheltered areas
  • Waves transport eroded material


  • Waves hammer against the rock over time this breaks the rock up.
  • Hydraulic action - waves force water into cracks in the rock under pressure, this breaks the rock up.
  • Solution - Water dissolves soluble materials from the rock.
  • Abrasion - Waves fling sand pebbles and large stones against the rock. They wear it away like sandpaper.
  • Atrtrition - Chunks of rock get knocked together and worn into smaller bits.
  • Deposition - if waves carry more material on the land a beach forms.
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Landforms created by the wave

  • Headland - hard rock erodes more slowly than soft rock, forming an headland.
  • Bay - softer rock has been eroded away.
  • Eroded material is carried along the coast by longshore drift. If longshore drift is interrrupted you get a spit.
  • Salt marsh - Silt and mud build up in a sheltered area.
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Cliff Collapse

  • Cliffs are eroded by waves and weakened by weathering.
  • It winter the ice makes the cracks bigger.
  • Heavy rain means the cliffs are full of water.
  • The more water in cliffs the weaker they are.
  • Clay cliffs are the worst, huge blocks of clay slide down the slope.
  • One way to solve the problem is to bury pipes in them so they carry the water away.
  • This is expensive and pipes don't last forever.
  • You can use rock armour to stop the cliffs from collapsing.

How can we stop the coast eroding?

  • Sea walls
  • rock armour (Soak up the waves energy)
  • Build barriers out at sea to make the waves break away from the shore
  • Build groynes to stop sand being carried away because the sand protects the coast
  • Beach replenishment by adding more sand
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