Coasts

System
A set of things working together in an interconnecting network
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Millennia
A thousand years
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Input
What is put in or taken in by a process or system
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Output
The action or process of producing something
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Open system
A system that transfers both energy and matter across boundaries
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Kinetic energy
The energy of motion
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Potential energy
The energy an object has because of its position (has the potential to be converted into other forms)
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Thermal energy
The energy generated and measured by heat
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Geomorphic processes
Natural processes of erosion, weathering and deposition
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Nearshore zone
The zone extending seaward from the low water line in which the waves break
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Evaporation
The process of turning a liquid to a vapour
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Throughputs
Transport systems, such as the movement of sediment cells
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Longshore drift
The movement of material along a coast by waves
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Equilibrium
A state in which opposing forces or influences are balanced
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Dynamic equilibrium
A system where inputs and outputs remain in balance. If changes occur, feedback will allow for correction.
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Negative feedback
An automatic response to change in a system that restores equilibirum
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Sediment cell
A stretch of coastline and its associated nearshore within the movement of sediment is self-contained
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Closed system
A system that transfers energy but not matter
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Fetch
The length of open water over which a given wind has blown
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Aeolian processes
Erosional, transportational and depositional processes by the wind
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Wave period
The time period/interval between successive wave crests
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Swell waves
A relatively smooth ocean wave that travels some distance from the area of generation
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Storm waves
A wave generated locally by high winds
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Swash
The movement of water up a beach after a wave has broken
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Backwash
The flow of water down a beach after a wave has broken
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Constructive wave
They are created in calm weather. They deposit material and have a stronger swash than backwash.
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Destructive wave
They are created in storm conditions. They erode the coast, and have a stronger backwash than swash.
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Tide
The cyclic rise and fall of sea level caused by the gravitational pull of the sun and moon.
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Tidal range
The evrtical differenece in height between consecutive high and low water over a tidal cycle.
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Lithology
The chemical and physical characteristics of rock types
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Structure
The physical characteristics of rocks (eg, their jointing).
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Planform
A body of water's outline or morphology as defined by the still water line
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Concordant
When the rock type runs parallel to the sea
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Discordant
When the rock type runs perpendicular to the sea
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Rip currents
Strong and quite narrow currents of water that flow seaward against the breaking waves
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Cusps
A pointed and regular arc pattern of sediment on the beach
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Ocean currents
The large scale horizontal flow of ocean water (at surface and depth) driven by winds
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Sub-aerial processes
A collective term for weathering and mass movement processes
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Sediment budget
The balance of sediment entering and exiting a particular section of the coast
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Weathering
Breakdown but not movement of material
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Freeze-thaw
A mechancial weathering process caused by water, confined in rock joints, expanding as it freezes and so breaking rocks into smaller pieces.
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Pressure release
Overlying materials are removed (by erosion), which causes underlying rocks to expand and fracture parallel to the surface.
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Thermal expansion
Increase in volume due to its rise in temperature
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Salt crystallisation
Salt crystals are deposited in cracks. They accumulate and apply pressure to the crack.
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Chemical weathering
The breakdown of rocks by chemical processes, such as oxidation solutions and hydrolysis
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Oxidation
A chemical process that weathers certain types of rocks and involves the adsorption of oxygen by rock minerals
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Carbonation
The mixing of water with CO2 to form carbonic acid, which reacts with minerals in rocks
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Solution
The chemical weathering process by which rock minerals ate dissolved
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Suspension
Fine, light material carried along in the water
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Hydrolysis
Hydrogen in the water reacts with the minerals in the rocks.
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Hydration
The breakdown of rocks by cycle of wetting (expansion) and drying (contraction)
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Tree Roots
A form of biological weathering, as tree roots grow in cracks in the rocks, causing them to break
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Organic Acids
Formed by the decomposition of plant litter, organic acids turn the soil water acidic in a process called chelation.
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Regolith
A loose layer of rocky material overlying bedrock
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Rock fall
A fall of rock, from a cliff or slope
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Rock slides
Occurs when solid rock is transported down a slope
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Abrasion
The mechanical scraping of a rock surface by friction
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Attrition
The erosion of sediment transported by rivers, glaciers, waves and wind
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Hydraulic action
The erosion that occurs that when the motion of water against a rock surface produces mechanical weathering. It is the ability of moving water to dislodge and transport rock particles.
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Saltation
Small pebbles and stones are bounced along the river bed.
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Traction
Large boulders and rocks are rolled along the river bed
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Deposition
The process where material being transported by a river is deposited
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Settling velocity
The spped required for suspended partciles of a given size to be deposited
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Levees
Ridges of coarse deposits found alongside stream channels and elevated above the floodplain
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Crevasse splays
Low-lying areas of deposited sediment between leeves
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Flocculation
A process by which salt causes the aggregation of minute clay particles into larger masses, too heavy to remain suspended
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Deflation
Erosion of clay and silt-like particles by wind action in drylands
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Strata
They layers or beds found in sedimentary rocks
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Bay
The body of water partially surrounded by land
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Headland
A point of land (usually with a sheer drop) that extends out into a body of water
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Wave refraction
The reorientation of wave fronts as they enter shallow water so they approach parallel to the shore
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Orthnogonals
Imaginary lines, perpendicular to the wave fronts, representating the transfer of energy as a wave moves towards the coast
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Cave
Occurs when waves force their way into cracks in the cliff face
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Arch
If a cave is formed ina headland, it may eventually break through to the other side, forming an arch
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Stack
Steep and often vertical columns of rock in the sea near a coast
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Stump
Erosion of the stack causes it to collapse and form a small stump
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Runnels
A small stream inbetween ridges and intervening depressions
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Berms
Small ridges that develop at the position of the mean high tide mark
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Cusps
Semi-circular depressions formed by a collection of waves reaching the same point
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Spit
An extended stretch of beach material that projects out to sea
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Onshore bars
Formed when a spit grows across a bay
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Tombolos
Formed when an island is attached to the mainland by a spit or bar
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Salt marshes
May be formed behind a spit, which causes a sheltered area where salt is deposited
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Turbid
Cloudy or muddy conditions in a river owing to the sediments held in suspension
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Saltpans
Flat areas of ground covered with salt deposited by the evapouration of saline water
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Flocs
A mass formed in a fluid by the aggretation of suspended particles
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Delta
An area of land in which divides into smaller rivers and empties into a larger body of water
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Distributaries
Small branching stream channels that flow away from a main stream or river.
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Eustatic change
when the sea level changes due to an alteration in the volume of water in the oceans
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Emergent landforms
A landform that has been exposed by the sea by a relative fall in sea levels
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Cyroturbation
The mixing of materials in the soil due to freezing and thawing
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Rias
A drowned river valley
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Fjord
A drowned glacial valley
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Sea walls
A wall built to prevent the sea flooding a piece of land
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Groynes
A low wall built out into the sea to prevent erosion and longshore drift
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Gabions
A box filled with stones to prevent cliff collapse and erosion
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Hard engineering
Controlled disruption of natural processes using man-made structures
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Soft engineering
The use of ecological principles and practices to reduce erosion and stablize the shoreline
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Beach recharge
A process by which sediment lost through longshore drift or erosionis replaced from other sources, such as offshore sediment stores
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Rip rap
Rock or other material used to armour shorelines against erosion
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

A thousand years

Back

Millennia

Card 3

Front

What is put in or taken in by a process or system

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

The action or process of producing something

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

A system that transfers both energy and matter across boundaries

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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