The Coastal Zone

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Length of water the wind blows over when creating a wave
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Prevailing wind
Direction that most of the wind comes from
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Waves breaking onto the shore
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Water draining back down the beach
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Constructive waves
Waves that build up the beach, have a stronger swash, form gently sloping beaches and are quite frequence
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Destructive waves
Waves that erode the beach, have a stronger backwash, form steep sloping beaches and are less frequent
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Wave refraction
Bending of waves when meeting a bay and headlands
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Broken rock fragments thrown by water at a cliff face, which breaks
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Hydraulic action
Waves hit the cliff face and air and water is trapped in cracks, later expanding and breaking the cliff
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Chemical action of the sea on rocks
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Material carried by the waves crashes into other material
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Longshore drift
The movement of material down the beach by waves having a swash in the direction of prevailing wind and a backwash straight backwards
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Break up or decay of rocks
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Biological weathering
Weathering caused by living organisms such as tree roots or burrowing animals
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Mechanical weathering
Weathering by physical force (eg freeze-thaw)
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Chemical weathering
Weathering by a chemical reaction (eg acid rain reacting with limestone)
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Freeze-thaw weathering
Water repeatedly freezing and thawing inside cracks in rocks, expanding the rock and breaking it apart
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Wave cut notch
Waves break on base of cliff, eventually eroding so much that the top of the cliff falls and the process repeats
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Resistant rock left jutting out after erosion
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Less resistant rock eroded away between headlands
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Discordant coastline
Coastline with alternating resistant and less resistant rock
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Concordant coastline
Coastline with one type of rock along its length
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Sea stack
Column in the sea created by erosion
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Accumulation of deposited material as a result of longshore drift
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Formed when a spit continues to grow out to sea
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Formed when a spit meets a headland- will have a lagoon behind it
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Hold the line
Taking action to keep the line of coast where it currently is (eg with a sea wall)
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Advance the line
Active intervention to produce a defence line along the coast (eg increasing size of the beach)
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Managed retreat
Allowing the land to flood and erode
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Hard engineering schemes
Man made structures to work against natural coastal processes
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Soft engineering schemes
Man made but natural looking structures working with natural coastal processes
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Rain water seeping down through cliff, reducing friction and causing them to slope down
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Sea level changing globally
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Land changing locally (resulting in sea level change)
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Thermal expansion
Sea levels rise due to temperature rise because the water expands
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Isostatic rebound/uplift
When ice on land melts, the land below it rises as though it were a compressed sponge, making sea levels appear to have lowered
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Pioneer plant
First plant species to colonise a harsh area to live in
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Vegetation succession
A sequence of vegetation species colonising an environment
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


Direction that most of the wind comes from


Prevailing wind

Card 3


Waves breaking onto the shore


Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4


Water draining back down the beach


Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5


Waves that build up the beach, have a stronger swash, form gently sloping beaches and are quite frequence


Preview of the back of card 5
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