• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe and Explain Factors Influencing Coastal Processes.

Extracts from this document...


Describe and Explain Factors Influencing Coastal Processes In this essay I aim to describe and explain factors affecting coastal processes. I will focus and explore how waves, tides, winds and mass movement processes can change the form of the coasts within our lifetime. The three key questions I will focus on are: * What are the energy and sediment inputs into the coastal system? * What are the processes that erode coasts? * How is sediment transported and deposited? I will conclude by describing and explaining factors influencing coastal processes and how they make up the South Dorset coast. The littoral zone is a narrow zone between high and low water zones where energy and sediment concentrate. The sediments on the coast are sand, shingle and clay. The river, cliffs and sea are sources of sediment inputs into the coastal system. (Fig. 1) (Fig 1. Sediment inputs into the coastal system.) The energy inputs include wind, waves and tidal currents. The wind produces sand dunes on beaches with shallow offshore gradients; these produce ecosystems, which help with plants that cope with lack of nutrients and water etc. ...read more.


increases. When waves break, water runs up a beach, forming the swash and back toe beach as the backwash. Constructive waves are lower waves with a strong swash and weaker backwash that build up beaches. Destructive waves have a stronger backwash and erode material from the coast. There are four main ways in which waves cause erosion: 1. Abrasion/Corrasion occurs when the waves throw sand, shingle and pebbles against cliffs, grinding and breaking away the rock surface. 2. Corrosion happens when the acids in seawater dissolve rocks. 3. Hydraulic action results in the breakdown of rocks when waves breaking against the cliffs trap air in cracks causing pressure to build up. When the waves retreat the pressure is released breaking off fragments of rock. 4. Attrition occurs when pebbles and stones carried by the waves are broken up into smaller fragments as they are thrown against each other. These processes are quite simple but the patterns of erosion are complex as they are influenced by these four factors: 1. Rock type- its resistance to wave action and sub aerial processes and its solubility 2. ...read more.


this therefore changes the form of the south Dorset coast, areas such as Lyme Regis, Charmouth, West Bay, and Furzy Cliff, which have been affected mostly by erosion caused the factors mentioned above. The coastline in South Dorset has been divided into littoral cells on the basis of sediment pathways. Erosion is active along the majority of the coast and most noticeable when human developments have taken place on unstable softer rocks. I also found out that deposition occurs where the sea's energy for transportation is reduced and where an obstacle hinders the free movement of LSD material. A long groyne, such as one in Hengistbury Head, Dorset is an obstacle that causes sediment to be deposited, therefore causing the build up of the beach at south Dorset. Sediment moves southeast due to the dominant influence of LSD on the south Dorset coast, this is mainly on the Lyme Bay littoral zone. On the Weymouth Bay and Lulworth Coastal littoral zone; LSD moves material from west to east, whereas the sediment movement is east to west because the ebb tidal currents are greater than the tidal current and LSD. Nazia Zia Geography Essay 18/12/07 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Coastal Landforms section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Coastal Landforms essays

  1. "An investigation into the methods of coastal management along Brighton's Coastline and the reasons ...

    However from then on the depth of the sand augmented rapidly, because at 25 and 30 metres the sand was 105 and 135 centimetres deep in that order. I believe that coastal protection for site 1 remains unvarying in the eastern side - the groyne seems to avert longshore drift from eroding the place.

  2. Mullaghmore Sand Dune Fieldwork

    is what we expected because the conditions on each type of sand dune are different. In our hypothesis we predicted that as you go further inland away from the beach, the pH would decrease. We can accept this because the pH that we took from the first sample was 9.4 and the pH from the last sample was 8.6.

  1. Coastal Processes

    Pages 44 & 45 Limitations * 5 good points of experiment --------------------------------- Page 45 * 5 bad points of experiment ---------------------------------- Page 46 * Photo of Minehead's groynes --------------------------------. Page 46 * Improvements in experiment --------------------------------. Page 46 Glossary * Glossary of key words --------------------------------- Pages 46 to 49 Bibliography

  2. The Dorset Coastline

    and limestone which is resistant (hard) The coastline consisted of parallel bands of hard and soft rock, which were perpendicular to the sea. As a result of differential erosion, the bands of soft rock were eroded much more quickly than the bands of resistant rock to form bays and headlands.

  1. Investigate the effects of costal processes on Porlock Bay in Somerset and also to ...

    When we reached Gore Point, we first measured the amount of facets and then we measured the gradient of the facets. Facets are ridges that are created during high tides and stormy conditions. The facets are separated; the material that is deposited on the beach is sorted by the wave energy.

  2. The Holderness Coast

    Conclusion Firstly, I have already made my conclusion on which is the best-protected coastline; Hornsea is by far the most protected, followed by Mappleton and finally Barmston. The amount of protection an area of the coastline receives is usually dependent on what areas of value are there.

  1. "Tourists are in conflict with the Sand Dune ecosystem at Oxwich Bay Nature Reserve".

    There are differences in shape between the two transects. Transect 2 has a smoother convex shape over the flatter slopes between 20meters and 50meters distance. Transect 1 on the other hand is more irregular over individual base lines, has an almost flat middle section from 20 to 35meters, rising only half a meter, with a steeper rise from 40 to 50meters.

  2. Swanage and Coastal Erosion

    This incident destroyed roads and houses. This event was one which the local authorities were not prepared for such an event. The cliff was retreating at a fast rate up until this time at approximately three meters every year. But all of a sudden 45 meters collapsed in one go.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work