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Flashcards in Coasts Deck (58):

Describe the essential features of the backshore

- the part of the beach closest to the coastline
- dry under normal conditions
- berms (horizontal plateau formed from deposition) without vegetation
- only exposed to waves during storms


Describe the essential features of the nearshore

- where waves steepen and break and surge out to foreshore
- sediment is transported in this zone


Suggest three different criteria that might be use din classifying coasts

- geology
- sea level rise/fall
- deposition


What are subaerial processes

- land based processes which later the shape of the coastline
- weathering (e.g. Freeze thaw, chemical weathering)
- mass movement (e.g. Landslides, slumping)


Describe the essential features of the coastal plain

- flat low lying land adjacent to the sea
- cliff/wave cut notch
- gets flooded during storms


What is the difference between a concordant coast and a discordant coast

- concordant when the arrangement of the rocks are parallel to the coastline
- discordant when arrangement is perpendicular to coastline


Name and example of a concordant and discordant coast

- concordant eastern coast of Adriatic Sea
- discordant south west Ireland


Explain what a haff coastline is

- a lowland coast where the long bars and lagoons are parallel to the shore


Headlands and bays are a feature of discordant coasts, explain why marine processes gradually smooth out such coasts

- resistant rocks form headlands meaning the shape of the coastline causes waves to refract as they approach headlands
- concentrates energy on headlands, increasing rate of erosion
- allowing coast to flatten out.


Examine the influence of dip on cliff profiles

- the dip of a rock layer is the angle of tilt from the horizontal.
- if a rock layer dips towards sea the blocks of rock may slide under the influence of gravity (mass movement)
- if the angle of the dip is landward, weathering and erosion may attack exposed bedding planes and joints, creating an irregular profile


What are the micro features of a cliff and how are they formed

- cliff profiles may include many protrusions and indentations due to erosion, as well as miro features such as caves, blowholes and geos


Characteristics of igneous rocks

- cooled magma (granite and basalt)
- more resistant to marine erosion and weathering than sedimentary rock.


Features of metamorphic rocks

- gneiss, marble
- formed from igneous and sedimentary rocks that were subjected to intense heat and pressure
- most resistant rock


Features of sedimentary rocks

- formed underneath oceans (limestone, sandstone)
- least resistant rocks


Describe how the differential erosion of alternating and contrasting rocks affects the coastline

- sedimentary rocks are permeable whereas metamorphic rocks are impermeable.
- the presence of water in these rocks can affect weathering and mass movement e.g. Slumping due to saturation
- some rocks such as limestone contain soluble minerals and so are vulnerable to chemical weathering such as carbonation (sea water absorbs co2 which splashes onto limestone and dissolves it)


Explain why vegetation is a a factor affecting coastal recession

- stabilises soft sediment low energy coastlines based on sand and mud.
- plant succession over time pioneer plants colonising bare areas as they change the conditions of soil by adding humus (decayed vegetation), retaining moisture and stabilising loose ground.
- sand dunes, where xerophyte plants such as marram grass grow, and salt marshes where halophyte plants such as glasswort grow provide buffer zones between and and sea. Sand dunes take the impact of storms and salt marshes absorb coastal flooding.


Explain why estuaries are ideal for the development of salt marshes

- estuaries are low energy environments where tidal conditions bring seawater and sediments in and out and rivers bring fine MUDs and silts and deposit them at the estuary
- the clay particles sick to one another (flocculation) and once deposited are colonised by algae.
- salt marshes can then be found at the edges of estuaries.


Explain the formation of embryo dunes

- sand dunes form where there is a plentiful supply of sand and a large area for it to dry out.
- onshore winds blow sand towards land and obstacles such as vegetation and shingle ridges which trap the sand
- embryo dunes are formed first.


Explain the formation of dune slacks

- at high tide or under storm conditions, seawater may reach the dips in the sand dunes, called dune slacks.
- this allows other plants such as march orchids to grow.


Apart form colour what distinguishes yellow dunes from grey dunes

- yellow dunes tend to be the highest, and may form a ridge near the dune front with marram grass.
- grey dunes are known as the mature dunes because their humus (decayed vegetation) content is greater. The clima vegetation is either pine forest (high acidity) or oak forest (slightly neutral).


Why is marram grass so important to the formation of sand dunes

- able to colonise the stable dunes and help hold the sand together and trap more sand.


What is the difference between tides and currents

- tides are driven by the gravitational force of the moon, water moving up and down the beach over a period of time
- current is the motion of the water, caused by density difference in water masses, cohesive streams that flow through the water


Describe what happens to waves when they reach shallow water

- forward movement starts to occur when the depth is less than the wavelength
- the base of the wave is slowed down by friction against the sea floor while the top of the wave rushes ahead
- the wave crest topples over and breaks onto the shore.


Distinguish between constructive waves and destructive waves

- constructive, larger swash than backwash, build up the beach
- destructive strong backwash weak swash, remove sediment


What is the difference between hydraulic action and corrosion

Air may become trapped in joints and cracks on a cliff face. When a wave breaks, the trapped air is compressed which weakens the cliff and causes erosion.
Acids contained in sea water will dissolve some types of rock such as chalk or limestone.


Describe the suite of coastal landforms most commonly found in areas of sedimentary rock with defined bedding planes and joints.

- wave cut platform, where a cliff is eroded at its base, leaving the tour rock unsupported which eventually collapses, leading to coastal recession
- cliffs, vertical slopes caused by waves undercutting land at high tide or constantly if there is no beach, as the cliffs undercut gravity causes mass movement in the unsupported rocks.
- caves, arches, stacks and stumps
Headlands in the sea cause waves to be refracted and all wave energy to be focused on the sides of the headland, hydraulic action and abrasion will at first form caves which often meet from opposite sides to form a tunnel above which is a rock arch
- eventually the top collapses leaving a pillar of rock called a stack, the stack continues to be eroded cutting notches all around leaving it unstable causing it to collapse leaving the base which is called a stump.


Name and describe the 4 sediment transportation processes

- suspension, small particles carried in the water e.g. Silts and clay, currents pick up large amounts during a storm.
- solution, minerals are dissolved in sea water and carried in solution, load comes from cliffs made form chalk/limestone.
- saltation, load is bounced along the sea bed e.g. Small pieces of shingle or large sand grains
- traction, pebbles and large sediment are rolled along the sea bed


What is longshore drift

the movement of material along a coast by waves which approach at an angle to the shore but recede directly away from it.


Describe how a tombolo is formed

tombolo is formed after longshore drift carries sediments cross a gap between the mainland and an island forming a narrow low ridge of sand and pebbles
- it may be a spit at first but when deposition links the island no mainland together it is a tombolo
- the isle of Portland in Dorset is joined to the mainland by a tombolo


Explain how a recurved spit is formed

- longshore drift moves sediment along the coast over a long period of time, when the sediments reach a gap in the coastline they are carried for a short while in the same direction until they are deposited on the seabed.
- over time this material is deposited causing it to real through the surface of the sea to form a narrow strip of land across the bay or estuary.


Describe how cuspate foreland is formed

cuspate foreland is a low lying headland, formed when significant longshore drift is from opposite directions along the coast, sediment is deposited across a bay from both directions forming two spits
- the two spits converge and shelter the area behind in the bay, salt marshes form and enough deposition will form low lying land.


Examine the factors affecting the stability of depositional features

vegetation- more stable - binds sediment together

Groynes- de-stabalise spits


What are sediment or littoral cells

Coasts divided into areas called littoral cells. Each cell contains a cycle of sedimentation including sources, transport paths, and sinks.


Describe the three types of weathering

Mechanical- weathering breaks down rocks due to physical force

chemical - weathering involves a chemical reaction

biological- weathering often is sped up through the action of plants,animals,bacteria


Give examples of mechanical weathering

freeze thaw - constant expansion and shrinking as temp changes causes cracking

Salt crystallisation - Growth of salt crystals in cracks can exert a breaking force


Give examples of chemical weathering

carbonation- the slow dissolution of limestone due to rainfall

hydrolysis - breakdown of minerals to form new clay minerals


Give examples of Biological weathering

plant roots - trees and plant roots growing in cracks and fissures forcing rocks apart

rock boring - many species of clams bore into rock and secrete chemicals that dissolve rocks


What is mass movement

movement of material such as soil, rock mud or snow down a slope under the influence of gravity


Describe three different types of mass movement

rockfall - rapid freefall of rock from steep face due to the action of gravity

Mud flow - occurs on steep slopes under 10 degrees. Rapid and sudden movement which occurs after periods of heavy rain

Landslips- occasional rapid movements of earth or rock


Describe the effects of mass movement on the coastal landscape

causes cliffs to retreat in size and beaches to be destroyed


What is the link between subaerial processes and rates of coastal recession

Weathering such as threezethaw and heavy rainfall can cause events such as rockfall and mudflow. These mass movements can result in cliff faces disappearing and the retreat of beaches


What is strata

layers of rock


How do wave cut platforms form

The wave attacks the base of the cliffs through the process of abrasion, corrosion and hydraulic action

Over time the cliff will be undercut and a wave cut platform is formed

Eventually the cliff becomes unstable and collapses, further cliff retreat will form a wave cut platform


What are the four processes of movement

- Traction
- Saltation
- Suspension
- Solution


What is traction in the process of movement

Larger sediment is rolled by the action of waves


What is Saltation in the process of movement

A slightly smaller sediment is 'bounced' by the waves


What is suspension in the process of movement

Fine material floats in the water


What is solution in the process of movement

Material is dissolved in the water


How does a beach form

Beaches are formed in sheltered environments, such as bays when swash is stronger than backwash and deposition occurs


What factors effect the size of a wave

Strength of the wind
Duration it blows
Water depth


Briefly explain how constructive and destructive waves influence beach morphology

constructive waves- strong swash pushes sediment up the beach. This forms a berm
Destructive waves- forms an offshore ridge


What is the difference between abrasion and attrition

abrasion, destructive waves pick up particles of sand and pebbles and scrape or throw them against a cliff as they break, this scratches the rock wearing it away, results in undercutting a cliff at high tide level.
- attrition occurs when boulders are continually moved around by waves especially in the breaker zone, as the sediment moves they collide with each other, rocks are broken down into smaller pieces.


What is ICZM

a process for the management of the coast using an integrated approach, regarding all aspects of the coastal zone, including geographical and political boundaries, in an attempt to achieve sustainability.

tangible objectives of ICZM include, for example, supporting fisheries, protecting the community from storm ravages, attracting tourists, promoting public health, maintaining yields from mangrove forests, preserving coral reefs. All these require coordinated community action for their accomplishment, a need that ICZM fulfils.


Give some examples of Soft engineering

Beach nourishment- Sand is pumped onto an existing
Reprofiling- The sediment is redistributed from the lower
part of the beach to the upper part of the
Dune nourishment- Marram grass planted to help
stabilise the dunes and trap sand


What is coastal management

Coastal Management concerns itself with the development design and management of the coastline.


What are the benefits of an ICZM programme

Facilitating sustainable economic growth based on natural resources

Conserving natural habitats and species

Controlling pollution and the alteration of shorelands and beachfronts

Rehabilitating degraded resources


What is the difference between Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies in terms of Climate Change

Adaptation involves developing ways to protect people and places by reducing their vulnerability to climate impacts. For example, to protect against sea level rise and increased flooding, communities might build seawalls or relocate buildings to higher ground.

Mitigation involves attempts to slow the process of global climate change, usually by lowering the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Planting trees that absorb CO2 from the air and store it is an example of one such strategy.


Explain two coastal depositional processes

Longshore drift - transports sediment from the headland
and re-distributes it down the coast
Constructive waves- Constructive waves drop beach
material because they have less