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The Dorset Coastline

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By Erin Woodland Mr Battle Geography 10 GCSE The Coastline at Dorset The Coastline of Southern England, The Isle of Purbeck in Dorset has some of the most spectacular scenery in Britain. This coastal scenery owes much to the rocks and relief of the area. Much of the coastline is upland. Erosion of these upland coasts creates dramatic cliffs like Golden Cap in Dorset, the highest on the south coast. Rocks and relief are not the only influences of coastal scenery. Wave energy is particularly high. Waves approaching from the southwest have a fetch of several thousand kilometres. Such powerful waves erode the more exposed stretches of coast. The result of this makes stacks, stumps, arches, caves etc.... Durdle Door Durdle Door is a natural arch formed by erosion at the coastline. Brief explanation on Arches, Caves, Stacks and Stumps. *) The sea attacks weak points in the headland and creates caves. *) The caves are eroded right through the headland to form natural arches *) ...read more.


The rate of erosion will be slow if the rock is hard (resistant). Joints in the rock are enlarged by corrasion and hydraulic action and means that rocks are eroded more easily. A Headland is an area of land adjacent to water on three sides. A bay is the reverse, an area of water bordering land on three sides. Headlands and bays are usually, but not always, found together on the same stretch of coastline. Headlands and bays form on concordant coastlines, where bands of rock of alternating resistance run perpendicular to the coast. Bays form where weak (less resistant) rocks (such as sands and clays) are eroded, leaving bands of stronger (more resistant) rocks (such as chalk, limestone, granite) forming a headland, or peninsula. Wave refraction occurs on headlands concentrating wave energy on them so many other landforms, such as caves, natural arches and stacks, form on headlands. Wave refraction disperses wave energy through the bay, and along with the sheltering effect of the headlands this protects bays from storms. ...read more.


The speed of cliff retreat depends on rock strength. Thus cliffs made from weaker rocks like shales of Lyme Bay may retreat rapidly. Lyme Bay. Wave erosion concentrated at the high water mark, gradually cuts a notch at the base of the cliffs. This undermining causes cliffs to collapse and gradually retreat inland (see pictures on next page) Waves There are three factors that affect wave height and strength. 1) Wind Speed 2) Wind duration 3) Fetch Wind Speed- When it's very windy the waves crash against the coastline- however the wind doesn't have to be strong to generate large waves. Wind Duration- This is the length of time it takes for the waves to travel after a blow of wind. For instance, if the wind was giving one powerful but short blow the waves wouldn't travel that far. In other cases, like the wind was blowing long and steady then the waves could travel further. Fetch- The distance of how far the waves have to travel. Where the fetch is long, very large waves can occur. Project By : Erin Woodland Class: Geography 10GSCE Teacher: Mr Battle ...read more.

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