Formation of Spits and Bars

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Formation of Spits and Bars


  • When there is a bend in the coastline, longshore drift carries the sand beyond the bend. It builds up as a sand spit.
  • Behind the spit , the sheltered water becomes a salt marsh.
  • The end of the spit is curved where it meets strong winds and waves.


  • If longshore drift continues to extend the length of the spit , it may join up with the coastline on the other side of the opening, such as a bay.
  • This results in the formation of a 'bar' with a 'lagoon' behind.
  • The bar and lagoon at Slapton, Devon were formed when sea level was rising.
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