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Unit 1 - Coasts - Key Terms (AQA GCSE)
Some key terms and definitions for key concepts in the Coasts section of Unit 1
Terms in this set (54)
The meeting point between the land and sea.
The distance of open water over which the wind has blown
Gentle, low energy waves with stronger swash than backwash that build up a beach.
Frequent, high energy waves with a stronger backwash than swash that erode a beach.
Caused by chemical changes breaking up rocks or causing rocks and minerals to dissolve.
Carbon dioxide dissolved in rainwater forms a weak carbonic acid - reacts with limestone (which contains calcium carbonate) forming soluble calcium bicarbonate - this is then carried away in solution.
Iron in rocks reacts with oxygen forming iron oxide - weakens and breaks down rock.
The physical disintegration of rocks into rock fragments
This occurs when temperatures fluctuate below and above freezing. Water gets into cracks in rocks. At night it may freeze and expand by 9% putting pressure on the rock. When the ice thaws in the day it reduces the pressure. The repeated freezing and thawing will gradually force the rock into pieces.
The breakdown and removal of rocks
Destructive waves hurl sand and shingle at cliffs which scrape and rub against rock wearing it away. Rocks carried on shore in waves can grind across rock gradually smoothing it.
Rock fragments carried by waves get smaller and more rounded as they knock again each other.
Battering of the base of cliffs by waves can force water into joints and faults compressing air in them and causing mini-explosions - the continual repeating of this gradually breaks rock apart.
The dissolving of soluble chemicals in rock by sea water
When material moves down slope due to the pull of gravity.
Occur on steep slopes where little vegetation holding the soil together and common after heavy rain.
Where large amounts of rock slide down a cliff along straight slip plane.
Where rocks become loose due to freeze-thaw and fall of the cliff face gathering at the base of the cliff as scree.
Where material moves down the slope in a rotational manner backwards into the cliff face (with a concave slip plain)
Small particles carried within the water
Large pebbles rolled along the seabed
Dissolved load - e.g. from limestone or chalk
The material carried by water
The 'hoping' / 'bouncing' motion of particles along the bed.
The movement of material along a coastline
The movement of material up a beach
The movement of material down a beach
The main direction from which the wind is coming from
Where material is dropped due to a loss off energy
Steep rock face along a coastline
Where the same type of rock is parallel to the coastline
Where different types of rock outcrop at 90o to the coastline
A gently sloping rocky platform, often covered at high tide
Resistant outcrops of rock sticking out into the sea.
Indent in the coastline between two headlands.
Where different rates of erosion occur along a coastline where there is harder and softer rock
An opening through a headland
An isolated pillar of rock separated from a headland
A collapsed section of rock in front of a stack, often covered by water at high tide.
The area of material lying between the high and low tide mark.
Accumulation of sand at the back of a beach.
Long narrow ridge of sand and shingle which projects from the coastline into the sea
A strip of deposited land parallel to the coastline joining two headlands (where a spit has closed off a bay by joining two headlands)
An area of saltwater dammed by a bar
A tidal river mouth (where freshwater meets saltwater)
Hard Coastal Engineering
This involves construction of man-made defences to control the natural processes - e.g. groynes and sea walls
Soft Coastal Engineering
This works with natural processes, not involving major construction, visually unobtrusive and considered more environmentally friendly.
A long concrete barrier wall built at the base of the cliff line (often with a recurved face)
Wooden (or concrete) fences built across the beach, stretching from the coastline into the sea
Rip Rap / Rock Armour
Large resistant rocks placed in front of the cliff
Adding sand taken from somewhere else often offshore
This is the artificial reshaping of a beach
Sand Dune Regeneration
The artificial creation of new sand dunes or restoration of existing ones to act as a physical barrier between the sea and land.
When a decision is made to no longer undertake coastal management in an area - population are moved out
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