Coasts definitions

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Constructive waves
Flat, low energy waves with a long wave length. Moves sediment up the beach.
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Destructive waves
steep, high energy waves with a short wave length. Moves sediment down the beach.
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Swash
Wave moving up the beach.
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Backwash
Wave water moving down the beach.
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Fetch
Distance of open water from the shore over which waves can be generated.
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Longshore drift
Movement of sediment along the beach by waves breaking at an angle.
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Sediment cell
Self-contained unit of coastline from which there is very little loss or gain of sediment from elsewhere. (Eg flamborough head to spurn point)
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Spring tide
The highest high tide and the lowest low tide caused by alignment of the sun and moon.
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Neap tide
The lowest high tide and highest low tide caused by the sun and moon at a 90 degree angle.
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Tidal range
The difference between the high and low tide.
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Intertidal zone
Coastal zone between high and low water lines.
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Backshore
Coastal zone that is usually above the reach of wave action.
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Offshore
Coastal zone that is usually too far off shore to be affected by breaking waves.
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Wave refraction
The bending of waves as they slow down in shallow water.
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Freeze thaw
The process whereby water repeatedly freezes and melts within joints and cracks in rocks. With repeated fluctuations in pressure, pieces of rock may fall off.
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Oxidation
Rocks break down as they react with oxygen.
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Carbonation
Rocks like chalk and limestone are dissolved by acidic rainwater.
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Mudflow
Highly lubricated sediment flows down the slope.
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Berms
A series of ridges which mark the high tides.
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Storm beach
A ridge formed by very large waves that leave shingle at the top of the beach.
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Break-point bar
A ridge found at the point where waves break.
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Ridges/Runnels
Low depressions that run along a beach.
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Spit
A large ridge of sand and shingle formed by deposition.
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Pioneer plants
Specialist plants that manage to survive in hostile environments.
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Eustatic change
A worldwide change in sea level due to changing amounts of seawater. Usually due to ice formation or melting.
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Isostatic change
A localised change in sea level due to loading or unloading of the crust.
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Submergent coastline
A coastline where a relative fall in sea level is taking place.
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Emergent coastline
A coastline where a relative rise in sea level is taking place.
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Ria
A river valley flooded by sea level change.
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Fjord
A glacial valley flooded by sea level change.
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Storm surge
Extra high tide caused by low pressure allowing sea level to rise.
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Hard engineering
Using barriers to protect coastlines from erosion or flooding.
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Soft engineering
Working with nature in a sustainable way to protect coastlines from erosion or flooding.
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Managed retreat
The policy of taking down or moving back defended in order to save costs and allow natural processes to adjust to changing sea level.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

steep, high energy waves with a short wave length. Moves sediment down the beach.

Back

Destructive waves

Card 3

Front

Wave moving up the beach.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Wave water moving down the beach.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Distance of open water from the shore over which waves can be generated.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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