Coastal environment under threat - Keyhaven salt marsh

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High biodiversity



Description of a salt marsh:

The spit is in a sheltered area which provides sediment accumulation and for eel grass to accumulate away from the impact of very strong wind. These salt marshes form in sheltered conditions at the coats either in estuaries or bays. They provide valiable habitats for birds and other marine life and plants. They also act as a buffer zone against flood.

  • Shetlered
  • Provide habitats
  • Natural flood protection


Keyhaven salt marshes are located on the South Coast of England in the Western Solent in Southern Hampshire.

Formation of spits:

1. Large amounts of sediment are transported by longshore drift and where the coastline suddenly changes direction to leave a sheltered shallow area of water.

2. Deposition occurs in the water sheltered by the headland and the spit slowly builds up and extends in length.

3. When the wind changes direction it causes the waves to alter their direction. This may result in some of the material at the end of the spit being forced inland to form a curved end.

4. A salt marsh often develops in the sheltered and calm enviornment behind the spit. This is because the more destructive waves can't get to…


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