Geography - Coasts

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: tolulah
  • Created on: 06-12-15 10:28

Coastal Areas

coastal area is an area located near a coastline which border the sea. It it where the land interacts with the sea. Coastal landscapes differ because of rock type, management, erosion and weathering

Uses of coastal areas include:

  • tourism
  • ecosystems
  • fishing
  • transport
  • trading

Threats towards coastal areas include:

  • rising sea levels
  • pollution
  • erosion
  • tropical storms
1 of 5

Wave Characteristics

Wave crest - highest point of wave, formed when water risis

Trough - lowest point of wave, formed when water falls

Wave length - distance between two successive crests/troughs

Wave height - distance between crest and trough

Swash - waves breaking and travelling up beach carrying load in prevailing wind direction

Backwash - waves returning to sea with load  taking the shortest possible route (gravity)

2 of 5

Constructive Waves


The effects of a low wave (

  • They are created in calm weather and are less powerful than destructive waves
  • Have a stronger swash than backwash, so they deposit material and build up beach
  • Less frequent than destructive waves (6-9 per minute)
  • Low with long wavelength - they roll onto the beach
3 of 5

Destructive Waves

Destructive Waves

The effects of a high wave (

  • They are created from big, strong waves when the wind is powerful and has been blowing for a long time
  • They occur when wave energy is high and the wave has travelled over a long fetch
  • They have a stronger backwash than swash, so they erode material and transport it away from beach 
  • They are more frequent that constructive wabs, and break 10-15 per minute
  • They are tall with a short wavelength and have a greater distance to fall when they break
4 of 5

Why waves differ

Waves are formed by friction between the wind and sea. The type and size of waves are determined by three factors:

  • Strength of wind

The stronger the wind, the bigger the waves

  • Wind duration

The shorter time the wind blows for, the small the waves

  • Fetch (distance wind travels)

The longer the fetch. the bigger the waves

5 of 5


No comments have yet been made

Similar Geography resources:

See all Geography resources »See all Coastal zones resources »