Coastal Definitions

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Littoral Zone
Wider coastal zone including adjacent land areas and shallow parts of the sea just offshore.
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Cliff Profile
Height and angle of a cliff face as well as its features e.g. wave-cut notch.
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Coastal Accretion
Deposition of sediment at the coast and the seaward growth of the coast-line, creating new land.
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Dynamic Equilibrium
Balanced state of a system system when inputs and outputs balance over time.
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Strata
The different layers of the rock within an area and how they relate to one another.
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Deformation
The degree to which the rock units have been tilted/folded by tectonic activity.
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Faulting
The presence of major fractures that have moved rocks from their original positions.
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Holcene
Geological epoch that began around 12,000 years ago - during which there were sea level rises of 35m.
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Faults
Major fractures in the rock produced by tectonic forces - involving the displacement of the rock either side of the fault line.
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Unconsolidated Material
Material such as sand, gravel or clay that has not been compacted and cemented to become sedimentary rock (undergone lithification).
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Water Pore Pressure
The pressure water experiences at a particular point in the water table due to the weight of the water above it.
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Fetch
The uninterrupted distance across water over which a wind blows and therefore the distance waves have to grow in size.
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Swash
The flow of water up a beach when a wave breaks.
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Backwash
When the water runs back down the beach to meet the next incoming wave.
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Beach Morphology
The shape of a beach, including the width and slope and features (e.g. berms, ridges etc.) - also includes the type of sediment.
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Blow Hole
Forms when a coastal cave turns upwards and breaks through the flat cliff top due to erosion.
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Currents
Flows of seawater in a particular direction driven by winds of differences in water density, temperature or salinity.
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Mass Movement
Down-slope movement of rock and soil - 'umbrella term' for movement including landslides, rockfalls and rotational slide.
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Isostatic Change
A local rise or fall in land level.
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Eustatic Change
Involves a rise or fall in water level caused by a change in the volume of water - global change.
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Acrretion
Occurs when sediment is added to a land-form (e.g. river delta) by deposition.
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Post-Glacial Isostatic Adjustment
Refers to the uplift experienced by land following the removal of the weight of ice sheets.
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Ria
A drowned river valley caused by sea level rise.
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Barrier Islands
Offshore sediment bars - usually sand dune covered - not attached to the coast.
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Dredging
Scooping or sucking up sediments from a seabed/ riverbed either for construction sand/ gravel or to deepen the channel so ships can pass through.
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Dissipation
When the energy of a wave is decreased by friction with beach material during wave swash up a beach.
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Mega-Project
A very expensive (over US$ 1 billion), technically difficult and long-term engineering project.
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Return Period
The frequency of a flood of a particular magnitude - 1:100 flood event every 100 years (1%).
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Environmental Refugees
Communities forced to abandon their homes due to natural processes including sudden events (e.g. landslides) or long-term events (e.g. deposition).
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Sustainable Coastal Management
Managing the wider coastal zone in terms of people and their economic livelihoods, social, economic and cultural well-being and safety from coastal hazards as well as minimising environmental and ecological impacts.
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Conflict
Disagreement over how the coast should be protected from threats and which areas should be protected - between stakeholders usually.
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Littoral Cells
All coastlines divide up into distinct littoral cells containing sediment sources, transport paths and sinks - each cell is independent from adjacent calls - holistic unit.
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Outflanking
Occurs when erosion gets behind coastal defences at the point where they stop - leaving to rapid erosion inland and undermining of defences.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Height and angle of a cliff face as well as its features e.g. wave-cut notch.

Back

Cliff Profile

Card 3

Front

Deposition of sediment at the coast and the seaward growth of the coast-line, creating new land.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Balanced state of a system system when inputs and outputs balance over time.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

The different layers of the rock within an area and how they relate to one another.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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