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

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

Extracts from this document...


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.


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.


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.

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 ...

    24 3 12 5 11 6 11 3 10 4 25 25 4 20 2 25 2 23 1 18 3 24 2 30 2 20 4 30 4 24 3 30 45 3 35 2 75 5 40 3 51 4 49 4 35 6 40 5 50 4

  2. The Holderness Coast

    Coastal defence and cliff management Concrete sea defences which acts as a wave barrier and also protects the area behind it from flooding. These are very expensive, about �2500m�. The ones in Hornsea also have steps/ramps for easy beach access.

  1. Coastal Processes

    These waves are most common in summer * Destructive waves destroy beaches. The waves are usually very high and very frequent. The backwash has less time to soak into the sand. As waves continue to hit the beach there is more running water to transport the material out to sea.

  2. North Stradbroke Island Report

    Gravity influences the groundwater to leave the island under the coastline. Window lakes are a result of the water table rising above the land surface. Blue lake is an example of a window lake. Myora Springs is the result of the water table meeting the surface at a low angle, which develops a spring.

  1. Free essay

    With reference to case studies, explain how sea level change influences coastal processes.

    Therefore, the coast is either added to or unaltered. It can also affect landforms by making them surface.

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

    For each of these pebbles we measured the length (A-Axis). We then used the powers index to justify the rough shape of the pebble that we examined. We did this by observing each pebble and choosing which shape was correct to the description.

  1. Is Dawlish Warren is threaten by human impacts and marine processes.

    dangerous for people who through their cigarette buds into the dunes, or vandals who find it fun to set alight to dune. This damages the rare sand dune ecosystem, which are both essential to the leisure and tourism and the rare wildlife that inhabit the sand dunes.

  2. "Describe and explain the differences in the coastline North and South of the Tower ...

    Conclusion: Waves which arrive at a rate of more than eight per minute will cause erosion and so the waves on both the North and south beach will erode the coastline. However, the average wave frequency for the North beach is more than the south beach so it should in theory cause more erosion.

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