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Describe and Explain the conditions And processes, which lead to The development of coastal spits.

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Introduction

Describe and Explain the conditions And processes, which lead to The development of coastal spits. Spits are narrow ridges of sand and/or shingle attached to the shore at one end and terminating in open water at the other ("beach extension"). They are associated with coastal orientation changes and occur in areas with a low tidal range (less than 3 metres). Broadly, there are 2 types can be recognised - Parallel - those aligned to the shore. Divergent - those that change angle to the shore. An example of a Parallel spit would be Orfordness : This spit is 17 miles long and is "pinned" to the coast by waves. The lack of power from the River Alde has helped spit formation. Salt Marshes have developed in the low energy area behind the spit. An example of a divergent spit would be at Hurst Castle : This spit is 2-3 miles long and it has a "re-curved distal" end due to strong currents in the Solent. It is about 10 metres high and 40-50 metres across. Different spit material is produced by different waves Sandy Spits are formed by constructive waves. ...read more.

Middle

They may have been formed where waves approach the shore and are of equal strength. Two spits emerge and meet so their formation is similar to Baymouth Bars. Because they are formed by wind and wave action, spits are unstable and dynamic. Bulkheads, highways, or railroads along the base of nearby eroding bluffs will reduce the supply of sediments necessary to maintain a spit. Logging and farming in adjacent areas can increase river-borne sediments and smother life on the intertidal parts of spits. Increased sediments from streams may also fill in the bay on the leeward side of a spit. It takes hundreds of years for spits to develop. An relevant apparent condition which spits require to develop is shallow water. Around the coasts of Britain, those areas which contain spits all have small tidal ranges, usually below 3 metres. The main process, which causes spits, is long-shore drift. This is the movement of material along the coast parallel to the shoreline. Its occurrence depends upon the oblique approach of a wave to the shoreline, for, the wave may carry material up a beach at an angle approximately perpendicular to the wave crest, but gravity will cause ...read more.

Conclusion

The spit receives sediment drifting south as far north as Flambrough Head. It receives glacial deposits that are as easily eroded and a abundant sediment supply. The wind is from the north and northeast and that is why the drift is to the south. It is projecting into a Humber Estuary. In the slack water the finer sediment is stored. Due to the projection into the estuary the Humber is diverted south. The spit has moved west due to the eroding coastline. Hooked or Re-curved Spits * As spits build out into deep water they require increasing volumes of sediment to build above the high mark. The tip or distal turns towards the land where it's shallower. If it built out in deep water it would be eroded. Once formed hooks are sheltered from the dominant waves by the spit and become permanent curves also formed by the second dominant wind. Under free transport conditions, the coast is likely to be much straighter, and the associated oblique approach of the waves will induce drift along it. The beaches are thus drift aligned and if the coast changes direction suddenly, for example at a river estuary, the beach may well continue parallel to the drift and detached from the coastline. This is a good formation of spits. ...read more.

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