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Describe in detail the three stages for the formation of mud flats.
1-Saltwater flows gently into the estuary bringing large amounts of fine sediments, meeting with slow moving river which is also carrying sediment.2- As the 2 flows meet the fine particles settle out of suspension by the process of floculation, where individual clay particles join together to form heavier particles that can sink to the bed.3- At low tide the inter-tidal area of mud is left exposed with water only left in permanent channels and generally smooth surface shows evidence of tidal action where following water has curved into, or shaped the surface.
What is the first stage to sand dunes formation?
Sand may become trapped by obstacles at the back of the beach, possibly on the highest berm or storm beach. Sand isn't a hospitable environment for plant growth so only very hardy plants will begin to colonise here. Such plants are called pioneers-examples of these include sea rocket and prickly saltwort.
What's the second stage of the formation of sand dunes?
The first dunes to develop are known as embryo dunes. They are suitable for colonisation by grasses such as sea couch, lym and later marram. These are able to grow upwards through accumulating wind blown sand, stabilising the surface. As a result low, hummocky dunes are formed. Marram is a robust plant which speeds vigorously by underground shoots. This is still a difficult environment and plants need certain features to survive. Sea couch has succulent leaves to store water, prickly soltwart has a thorn like leaves which reduce transpiration and conserve water and marram possesses long tap roots to draw moisture from the water table. Plant growth of this kind adds organic matter to the dunes which aids water retention.
What's the third stage of the formation of sand dunes?
Upward growth of embryo dunes raises the highest to create dunes that are beyond the reach of all but the highest storm tides. These fore dunes (mobile dunes) are initially yellow, because they contain little organic matter, but as colonisation increases, plants like marram begin to add hummus to the sand. As a result, the dunes look more grey in colour and may reach heights in excess of 20m.
What's the fourth stage of formation of sand dunes?
The dunes inland gradually become fixed. The organic layer develops, which improves nutrient supply and water retention, allowing more plant colonisation. Lichens, mosses and flowering plants begin to appear and marram is slowly replace by red fescue (flowering grass). Other plants include creeping willow and drewberry.
What's the fifth stage of formation of sand dunes?
In places dunes slacks develop. These are depressions within the dunes where the water table is on or near the surface and conditions are often damp. Rushes reeds, mosses and willows can be found but the plants present will very much depend upon the amount of moisture. This completes the vegetation succession within the sand dune systems and has reached a stage, which is called a climatic climax. This process is known as psammosere.
How are tombolas formed, give the two different ways?
1-On drift aligned coastlines, when longshore drift builds a spit out from land until it contacts with an offshore island.2-On swash aligned coasts when there is wave refraction around both sides of the island.1- This causes a collision of wave fronts on the landward side, cancelling each other out and producing a zone of still, calm water where deposition occurs, between the island and the coast. 2- Oppositional longshore currents may play a role, in which case the depositional feature is similar to a spit.
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