GEOGRAPHY COASTAL PROCESSES

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Backshore
This area is not usually encroached upon by waves - unless storm conditions arise.
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Foreshore and Nearshore
The foreshore is located closest to the backshore and it is here, due to the breaking of waves that sediment transport may take place.
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Offshore
There is limited direct sediment movement here as tidal currents are more important than wave action.
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Constructive waves
These are depositional waves as they lead to sediment build up, and are most common where a large fetch exists.
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Destructive waves
These act as agents of erosion, because backwash is greater than swash.
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Wave fetch
The distance of open water over which a wave has passed.
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Wave crest
Highest point of a wave.
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Wave trough
Lowest point of a wave.
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Wave height
Distance between trough and crest.
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Wave length
Distance between one crest/trough and the next.
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Swash
Water movement up a beach.
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Backwash
Water movement down a beach.
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Abrasion
Occurs when material, such as sand, shingle, pebbles and boulders is hurled against cliffs as waves hit them, wearing the cliff away.
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Hydraulic pressure
When water is thrown against rock, a parcel of air can become trapped/compressed in a joint or crack. The increase in pressure leads to a weakening/cracking of the rock.
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Solution
Seawater contains carbonic acid, which is capable of dissolving limestone. The evaporation of salts in seawater produces crystals and their formation can lead to the disintegration of rocks.
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Sub-aerial
Coastal erosional processes that are not linked to the action of the sea. Erosion occurs via rain, weathering by wind and frost. Its impact is often seen in soil creep, slumping and landslides.
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Human activity
Much building and recreation occurs at the coast, and this increases pressure on cliff "top"s, making them more liable to erosion and subsidence.
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Hard rock cliffs
Examples include granite and basalt cliffs. They exhibit a slow rate of erosion and tend to be stable.
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Soft rock cliffs
Examples include cliffs comprised of glacial till and clay. These cliffs often erode rapidly.
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Headlands and bays
Hard rock, which resists erosion followed by soft rock that has been eroded to form a bay.
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Wave cut platforms
These are gently sloping features, often found extending from the base of a cliff.
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Caves, arches, stacks, blowholes
Secondary features occurring during cliff formation. Originate due to lines of weakness (joints or faults) being attacked and made larger by marine erosion.
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Arch
When two caves formed on either side of a headland join together.
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Stacks
Collapsed arches.
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Stumps
Stacks that have been eroded and lost height.
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Clastic sediment
Comes from weathering of rock and varies from very small clay particles to sand/pebbles/boulders.
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Biogenic sediment
Skeletons and sediments of marine organisms.
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Non-cohesive sediment
Larger particles (for example, sand) moved grain by grain.
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Cohesive sediment
Very small clay and mud particles that bond together.
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Longshore drift
Process whereby material is moved along a stretch of coastline. Material is transported in a zig-zag fashion.
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Beaches
Commonest form of coastal deposition - occurs as a result of sediment being deposited, that may have come from rivers, and cliff erosion.
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Spits
Narrow, long stretches of sand/shingle that extend out to sea, or partway across a river estuary.
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Sandy spits
Form as a result of dominant constructive swell waves.
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Shingle spits
Form as a result of dominant destructive waves.
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Tombolos
Where a spit or bar connects the mainland to an island.
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Barrier beaches and islands
A number of sandy beaches that are totally separate to the main land, but run parallel to it.
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Cuspate forelands
Triangular beaches formed by longshore drift operating on a coastline from two different directions.
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Sand dunes
Not strictly a feature resulting directly from marine action, but the blowing of sand from a beach inland.
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Embryo dune
The first part of the dune to develop.
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Yellow dune
Colour is due to a lack of humus, but with distance inland they become increasingly grey due to greater amounts of humus.
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Fixed grey dunes
Limited growth due to distance from beach.
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Dune slacks
Depressions between dune ridges, which will be damp in summer and water-filled in winter.
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Blow outs
Large ‘holes’ that appear in the dunes. Often evidence of over use by humans.
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Mud flat
A level area of fine silt along a shore as in a sheltered estuary. Alternatively covered and uncovered by the tide, or covered by shallow water.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

The foreshore is located closest to the backshore and it is here, due to the breaking of waves that sediment transport may take place.

Back

Foreshore and Nearshore

Card 3

Front

There is limited direct sediment movement here as tidal currents are more important than wave action.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

These are depositional waves as they lead to sediment build up, and are most common where a large fetch exists.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

These act as agents of erosion, because backwash is greater than swash.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
View more cards

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