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Coastal Systems

*Coast Terms* (Especially 4 Geography As)

TermDefinitionDetailsType
Onshore A movement from sea to land Usually used to describe winds Coastal Environment
Backshore The beach area, landward of the foreshore above the normal reach of the tides, that provides the primary protection from the hinterland Coastal Environment
Intertidal and Nearshore Zone of land between highest and lowest tides In low-lying areas i.e mudflats, this can be very extensive and important ecologically Coastal Environment
Offshore Zone A zone that is seaward of the breakpoint This may include features such as offshore bars Coastal Environment
Coast The area where landmasses meet the sea Often used to encompass the zones on either side of the shoreline Coastal Environment
Coastline/Shoreline A line used in the analysis of shoreline evolution It represents the cliff top edge on cliffed coasts, edge of hard defences where these exist, and the backshore/ hinter Coastal Environment
Coastal Zonation The identification of areas of coast often for planning purposes The term may refer to zones such as offshore, onshore or to sections of the coast sharing common marine processes. Coastal Environment
Littoral Zone The environmental zone that exists between the highest and lowest levels of the spring tides. Coastal Environment
Beach System The inputs, outputs, transfers, processes and stores that interact with each other on the beach (blank) System
Coastal System The inputs, outputs, transfers, processes and stores that interact with each other along the coast (blank) System
Littoral Cells Offshore littoral zones within which the circulation of sediment through longshore drift and other processes, is relatively self contained. 11 such zones have been identified for England and Wales System
Sediment Sinks These occur when sediment movements meet and material is lost from marine circulation They are often associated with the creation of depositional features System
Dynamic Equilibrium The balance between inputs and outputs in a system It is linked to the concept of "steady state" System
Storm Surge A rapid rise in sea level brought about by a combination of factors. These factors include; - High strong tides - strong onshore winds - funneling of water into narrow coastal zones - very low atmospheric pressure - esturine rivers at flood level due to prolonged rainfall. System
Storm Event An exceptionally powerful storm with associated geomorphological consequences i.e the creation of a new storm beach (blank) System
Structure Geological features i.e folding and faulting Physical Factor AC
Lithology Rock Type (blank) Physical Factor AC
Differential Erosion The erosion of different geological elements at different rates due to variations. i.e lithology or faulting which may lead to features such as headlands and bays. Physical Factor AC
Fault Zone Area of rocks with a high degree of faulting, making it prone to erosion (blank) Physical Factor AC
Jointing Fractures in rocks that do not involve faulting (blank) Physical Factor AC
Bedding Plane Surface within a rock that is parallel to the surface of deposition Often associated with cracks that may lead to erosion Physical Factor AC
Concordant Features Features that occur where geological structures run parallel with the coast (blank) Physical Factor AC
Discordant Features Features which occur when structures run at right angles to the coast (blank) Physical Factor AC
Wave Frequency The number of waves per minute (blank) Physical Factor AC
Fetch The distance that a wave travels before breaking (blank) Physical Factors AC
Dominant Wind The wind direction that has the principal impact on marine processes in an area (blank) Physical Factor AC
Prevailing Wind The wand that blows most frequently in an area It is often the dominant wind Physical Factor AC
Corrasion Erosion caused by pebbles and rock fragments hitting the beach or cliff rocks. (blank) C Process
Abrasion Another term for corrasion (blank) C Process
Corrosion Erosion brought about by chemical action on rocks (blank) C Process
Hydraulic Action Erosion brought about by the pressure of water on cliffs and beaches. (blank) C Process
Wave Refraction The "bending" of a wave due to friction as its base touches the seabed (blank) C Process
Longshore Drift The movement of material along a beach caused by waves (swash) striking the beach at an angle, and the backwash returning at right angles (blank) C Process
Rip Currents Fast flowing backwash that can scour beach channels (blank) C Process
Tides The periodic rises and falls of sea level due to the gravitational action of the sun and moon (blank) C Process
Micro-Tidal Environment The zone of littoral affected by tidal action It has particular relevance to ecological systems C Process
Swash Water moving up a beach after a wave has broken (blank) C Process
Backwash The movement of water back down a beach due to gravity (blank) C Process
Sub-aerial Erosion Non-marine erosional processes that occur on cliff and beach surfaces (blank) C Process
Rotational Slipping Landslipping that occurs on a curved plane It is often caused by weak underlying rocks giving way during saturation C Process
Slumping Movement of material down a slope, under gravity, but lubricated by water (blank) C Process
Flow The movement of liquid or semi-liquid material downslope e.g on a cliff face (blank) C Process
Landslide Movement of dry material downslope (due to gravity) with no lubrication (blank) C Process
Long Term Changes Long Term - permanent changes that occur quickly or slowly (blank) C Process
Short Term Changes Changes that happen relatively quickly and usually regarded as temporary (blank) C Process
Active Cliffs Cliffs undergoing active erosion (blank) C Landforms
Degraded Cliffs Non-active cliffs (blank) C Landforms
Wave-cut notch An "undercut" or notch at the base of a cliff caused by marine erosion (blank) C Landforms
Wave-cut flatform A gently sloping platform (less than 4o) at the base of the cliff, cut by marine action (blank) C Landfrorms
Cliff Profile The vertical outline or cross-section of a cliff (blank) C Landforms
Sea Cave Hollow cut in a cliff by marine action e.g. limestone caves Llantwit Major C Landforms
Sea Arch Arch in a cliff cut by marine action e.g. Durdle Door, Dorset C Landform
Stack Tall remnant of a cliff, left isolated by marine action e.g. The Needles C Landform
Stump Short remnant of a cliff, left isolated by marine action (blank) C Landform
Geo Steep sided inlet cut by marine action (blank) C Landform
Beach The deposit of non-cohesive material on the interface between dry land and the sea (blank) C Landform
Beach Cusps Small "embayments" found on beaches that channel swash to their centres, thus maintaining their form (blank) C Landform
Beach Profile Vertical cross section of a beach (blank) C Landform
Storm Beach A line of coarse material deposited on the upper beach during a storm (blank) C Landform
Berm Ridge of coarse material on the upper beach deposited by spring tides and storms (blank) C Landforms
Spit Long strip of shingle joined to the coast This results from marine deposition C Landforms
Bar Offshore deposit of sand or shingle (blank) C Landform
Tombolo Island linked to mainland by a depositional feature such as a spit (blank) C Landform
Sea Level Changes Can be positive, negative, eustatic, isostatic Positive (a sea level rise relative to the land), Negative ( a sea level fall relative to the land), Eustatic ( changes caused by sea volume changes ie. global warming), Isostatic (changes brought about by vertical land movements ie. melting of glaciers) C Landform
Raised Beach Old becah left "high and dry" by falling sea level (blank) C Landform
Fjord Glacial valley drowned by sea level rise to form narrow, steep sided inlet (blank) C Landform
Ria Steep sided river valley drowned by sea level rise e.g Dartmouth C Landform
Estuaries Lower stretches of rivers that are tidal - often drowned by post-glacial sea level rise e.g. Southhampton Water C Landform
Created by: mix on 2005-05-01



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