Coasts Key Terms

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Landscape
The visible features (landforms) of an area of the Earth's surface.
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System
A group of objects and the relationships between them.
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Geomorphic
Relating to the formation and shaping of landforms and landscapes by natural processes.
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Nearshore Zone
The area of coastal environment between mean high tide and mean low tide.
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Open System
A type of system whose boundaries are open to both inputs and outputs of energy and matter.
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Input
An addition of energy and/or materials to a system.
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Output
The transfer of energy and/or materials out of a system.
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Longshore Drift
The movement of sediment by waves and currents along a coastline.
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Equilibrium
A long-term balance between the inputs and outputs of a system.
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Dynamic Equilibrium
A system displaying unrepeated average states through time.
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Negative Feedback
An automatic response to change in a system that restores equilibrium.
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Sediment Cell
A stretch of coastline and its associated near shore area within which the movement of coarse sediment, sand and shingle is largely contained.
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Closed System
A system with inputs and outputs of energy, but without any movement of materials across system boundaries.
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Fetch
The distance of open water in one direction from a coastline, over which wind can blow.
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Wave Period
The time interval between successive wave crests arriving at a given point.
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Swell Wave
A relatively smooth ocean wave that travels some distance from the area of its generation.
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Storm Wave
A wave generated locally by high wind energy.
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Swash
The movement of water up the beach after a wave has broken.
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Backwash
Flow of water down a beach after the wave has broken.
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Tidal Range
The vertical difference in height between consecutive high and low waters over a tide cycle.
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Lithology
The chemical and physical properties of rocks types.
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Structure
The physical characteristics of rocks including jointing, bedding, faulting.
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Concordant
A coastline with bands of different geologies lying parallel to the shore.
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Discordant
A coastline with bands of different geologies lying perpendicular to the shore.
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Rip Currents
Strong and relatively narrows currents of water that flow seaward against 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 driven by planetary winds and contrasts in water temperature and salinity.
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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 volume entering and exiting a particular section of the coast.
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Regolith
A loose layer of rock material overlying bedrock.
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Settling Velocity
The speed required for suspended particles of a given size, transported by rivers, the wind and tidal currents, to be deposited.
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Flocculation
A process by which salt causes the aggregation of minute clay particles into larger particles that are too heavy to remain suspended in water.
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Deflation
Erosion of clay and silt-sized particles by wind action on dry land.
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Strata
The layers or beds found in sedimentary rock.
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Wave Refraction
The reintoriation of wave fronts as they enter shallower water so that they approach parallel to the shoreline.
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Orthogonals
Imaginary lines, perpendicular to wave fronts, representing the transfer of energy as a wave moves towards the coast.
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Turbid
Cloudy or muddy conditions owing to sediments held in suspension.
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Saltpans
Flat areas of ground covered in salt deposited by the evaporation of saline water.
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Flocs
A mass formed in fluid by the aggregation of suspended particles.
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Distributaries
Small branching stream channels that flow away from the man stream or river.
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Levees
Ridges of coarse deposits found alongside stream channels and elevated above the flood plain.
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Crevasse Splays
Low lying areas of deposited sediment between levees.
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Eustatic
Worldwide change in sea level.
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Beach Recharge
The addition of sediment to a beach by humans to increase its size or volume.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

A group of objects and the relationships between them.

Back

System

Card 3

Front

Relating to the formation and shaping of landforms and landscapes by natural processes.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

The area of coastal environment between mean high tide and mean low tide.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

A type of system whose boundaries are open to both inputs and outputs of energy and matter.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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