Geography Edexcel GCSE Coasts

For anybody studying GCSE Geography (Edexcel exam board). This is the Coasts unit. Override plural or singular terms that you enter if they are the correct term as this set is a little bit fussy.
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Terms in this set (...)

Destructive Waves
A wave that tends to erode the coastline. They are usually large, frequent and powerful. They are created during storm conditions.
Constructive Waves
A wave that tends to build up the coastline. They are small, infrequent waves which are less powerful and are created during calm weather.
Coastline
The interface between the land and sea. It includes physical features and processes and economic activity.
Shoreline
The zone between high tide and low tide.
Erosion
The shaping of the coast by the destructive action of the sea.
Deposition
The shaping of the coast by the constructive action of the sea.
Transportation
The movement of material around coastlines by the action of the sea.
Swash
The forward motion of a wave which tends to deposit sediment.
Backwash
The backwards movement of a wave which tends to erode the coastline.
Hydraulic Action
A type of erosion. This is the pressure of water being thrown against the cliff face. It also includes the compression of air in cracks.
Corrosion (solution)
A type of erosion. This is a chemical reaction between certain rock types (e.g. chalk) and dilute acid in the seawater.
Corrasion (abrasion)
A type of erosion. It occurs when waves carry pebbles and sand which then scour the cliff face and break off more rock. This starts a cycle.
Attrition
A type of erosion between boulders in the sea. As the boulders roll around they get chipped and eventually form pebbles and sand.
Fetch
The distance of open ocean over which the wind can whip up waves.
Prevailing wind
The most common wind direction.
Dominant wind
The direction from which the strongest winds tend to come.
High Energy Coastlines
Coastlines which receive a lot of wave energy. They usually suffer from severe erosion but it depends on the geology in the area.
Low Energy Coastlines
Coastlines which receive little wave energy.
Differential erosion
This type of erosion forms physical features on the coastline such as headlands and bays. It occurs when less resistant rocks are eroded more quickly than resistant rocks (e.g. boulder clay and limestone).
Collapse
This is a type of mass movement. It occurs when waves erode the base of a cliff and create an overhang, which collapse along the weakness due to gravity when it is saturated with water (from various weathering processes like rain).
Slumping
This is a type of mass movement. When a permeable rock like chalk sits on top of an impermeable rock like clay, water builds up in between the two layers (when it rains). The water lubricates the slip plane and the top layer collapses into the sea as a _ _ _ _ _.
Weathering
When rock is eroded slowly through physical processes such as rain. Can be chemical (acid rain), physical (freeze-thaw action) or biological (plant roots or animal burrows).
Bay
A physical feature formed as a result of differential erosion. It is an inlet formed where the land curves inwards (they tend to form from less resistant rocks).
Headland
A physical feature formed as a result of differential erosion. It is a stick of land that juts out in to the sea (it is usually formed from more resistant rocks).
Cave
These features make up part of a cycle. They form when a crack in a rock is eroded by the sea so much that it opens out and forms a _ _ _ _.
Arch
Another feature that makes up part of a cycle. These are formed when the seawater erodes right through the back of the cave, forming an _ _ _ _ which you can see through.
Stack
A feature that makes up part of a cycle. They form when the roof of an arch collapses due to gravity (after it has been weathered sufficiently). This isolated piece of land left in the sea is called a _ _ _ _ _.
Stump
The last part of the cycle. They form when the sea erodes the base of a stack so much that it collapses. A _ _ _ _ _ is left behind, which is covered at high tide.
Wave cut platforms
This feature is formed as a result of cliff retreat. These form the basis of beaches (as a surface for the sediment to be deposited on).
Longshore Drift
This process transports sediment along the coast which is eroded by attrition as it moves (so it ends up smoother after a while). It occurs when constructive waves roll in oblique (diagonally) to the coastline but straight back due to gravity. This moves sediment along the coastline. It also forms spits, bars and tombolos.
Beach
This is simply an accumulation of deposited material along the coast between high and low tide. They are usually formed on wave cut platforms.
Spits
These features form as a result of Longshore Drift. They form when LSD is interrupted by a the mouth of a river or when LSD meets shallow water. This forces the waves to drop the sediment they are carrying (due to increased friction) which forms this feature.
Laterals
These form on the side of spits during storms.
Bars
These are features formed when Longshore Drift cuts across a bay and deposits the sediment it is carrying (due to the change in depth- there is increased friction).
Tombolos
These features are formed when a spit or bar joins on to an island separate from the mainland (they are like "land bridges" joining them up).
Salt marshes
These features form behind spits when seawater accumulates but is unable to drain away. They make great habitats for wading birds and other wildlife.
Strategy
The plan to manage the coastline (relevant to coastal management).
Technique
The action carried out on the coastline (relevant to coastal management).
Advance the line
A coastal management strategy which involves pushing the coastline further towards the sea e.g. Bournemouth.
Hold the line
A coastal management strategy which tries to keep the coastline where it is now e.g. Southend-on-Sea.
Managed retreat
A coastal management strategy which allows erosion to occur whilst dealing with the consequences e.g. Abbots Farm, Essex.
Soft engineering
A type of technique which uses nature against itself e.g. beach replenishment.
Hard engineering
A type of technique which interrupts and works against nature e.g. sea walls.
Cliff regrading
A soft engineering technique which involves changing the gradient of a cliff so it is not as prone to mass movement. Retains the natural look of the beach but is very expensive.
Sea walls
This is a type of hard engineering that involves the construction of a wall at the base of a retreating cliff or at the back of the beach. They often have a recurved face to deflect the waves back down the beach. They are durable and last a long time but are very ugly, so have to be buried under shingle.
Breakwaters
A hard engineering technique that involves sinking huge concrete blocks or boulders out at sea to sap wave energy and alter the wave direction. This causes the waves to break earlier and reduces their erosional power. It also causes wider beaches (as there are less destructive waves) which absorb the wave energy. They are very effective but are remote and difficult to place.
Groynes
These are a type of hard engineering which use Longshore Drift to trap sand behind them, leading to wider beaches. The side facing the waves suffers erosion but the other side traps sand due to deposition. They have a long lifespan but are vulnerable to erosion.
Revetments
These are a type of hard engineering. They are wooden blockades which are built parallel to the sea on the coast, towards the back of the beach to protect the cliffs. Waves break against them and they absorb the energy. They also trap sediment behind them, which protects the cliffs. They are fairly cheap but will require maintenance within a short time of being built.
Rip Rap
This technique is an example of hard engineering. Large boulders made of a resistant rock (e.g.granite) are dumped at the base of the cliff. The gaps between the rocks disperse the wave energy and reduce their erosional power. They are very effective but pose a risk to health and safety if tourists climb on them.
Beach replenishment
This technique is an example of soft engineering. Sand is transported back along the coastline to the beach or is brought in from elsewhere. It is then used to widen the beach or to replace what has been lost through erosion or LSD. It is a very cheap technique but requires constant maintenance.
Gabions
These are small wire cages containing small boulders made of a resistant rock such as granite. They are then placed along retreating cliffs. This hard engineering technique is very long lasting but is also very ugly.
Westward Ho!
This place is suffering from coastal erosion and the shingle ridges are being washed away. The nearby golf club is going to lose its 7th and 8th holes as a result of the erosion. The strategy being used is managed retreat.
Dawlish
This place is suffering from coastal erosion. The train line here links the whole of south-east England so is very important. In one instance hundreds of passengers were stuck on a train for 3 hours after the seawater washed over the train's electrics and rendered it useless. The wrong type of sea wall has been used here; it is flat instead of curved and needs repair.
Walton on the Naze
This is a very important case study on coastal management. The cliffs here are made of boulder clay. The northern part of this place has a managed retreat strategy as the buildings are not worth saving (cliffs have reduced from 20m to 4m in height and slumping occurs frequently). The southern half has a hold the line strategy. Breakwaters, rip raps, sea walls and groynes have been used to attempt to halt the coastal erosion around the Tower and the coastal properties (particularly Sunny Point). This is because there is a good tourist industry in this area.
Robin Hood's Bay
This is another case study on coastal management. This place is located in Yorkshire and the cliffs here are made of boulder clay. The town is divided into 2 sections; the old town and the new town. The old town is perched on the edge of the cliff in an area vulnerable to powerful storms and destructive waves... In 2000 the council took action. They installed rip rap at the base of the cliff and regraded the cliff. They also planted vegetation, such as gorse and nettles, to discourage climbing on the cliffs.
Whitby Abbey
This place is the famous setting for Bram Stoker's Dracula but the main attraction is set to be lost through coastal erosion if nothing is done.
Happisburgh
This place is one of the fastest eroding areas in the world but the government has adopted a managed retreat strategy as installing sea defences is not thought to be cost effective or practical in this area. Beach Road is one of the worst affected areas, properties there have been valued at £1! Local people are suffering from insomnia, stress and depression and many people will be homeless when the sea takes their homes as the insurance does not cover coastal erosion.
Bangladesh (2007)
This is an LIC which was affected by coastal flooding when the monsoon swamped the country. People were given insufficient notice that the cyclone was coming. Around 50,000 animals were killed and agricultural areas were lost as they were covered in salty water.
Louisiana and Mississippi (2005)
These places are examples of states in an HIC which were affected by coastal flooding. Hurricane Katrina shoved houses in Biloxi inland and one of the states was practically underwater. Keesler Air Force Base was damaged as a result of the hurricane.
Flood watch
This is one of the warning codes issued when flooding is possible. It advises people that flooding is possible and to be aware.
Flood warning
This is one of the warning codes issued when a flood is going to happen. It advises people to take action to protect their homes as a flood is imminent.
Severe flood warning
This is one of the warning codes issued when a flood is going to happen. It advises people to take action to protect their properties and to evacuate the area as there is a danger to life.
Forecasting
This a method of reducing the effects of flooding. The MET office gives _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ as to when they think a flood will happen.
Prediction
This a method of reducing the effects of flooding. The Environment Agency monitors tides and storms to _ _ _ _ _ _ _ when a flood will occur.
Building Design
This a method of reducing the effects of flooding. Buildings are made to withstand flooding e.g. they are built on stilts or plug sockets are placed halfway up the walls.
Education
This a method of reducing the effects of flooding. The government gives advice on what to do in a flood and publishes information on its website.
Concordant coastline
In this type of coastline, the layers of rock are parallel to the direction of the coastline.
Discordant coastline
In this type of coastline, the layers of rock are perpendicular to the direction of the coastline.