The Action of Waves

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Factors Determining the Nature of Coasts

  1. Wave action
  2. Tidal currents
  3. Nature of the rocks forming the coast
  4. Height of the coast
  5. Nature of the climate
  6. Work of man

Formation of Waves

  1. Wind blows over the sea surface.
  2. The surface of the sea exerts frictional drag on the lower layer of the wind.
  3. The top layer (with the least drag) moves faster than the lower layer and hence tumbles over it.
  4. This causes a circular motion of wind energy that acts on the sea to create waves.

Wave Erosion

  1. Breaking point of the wave.
  2. Wave steepness
  3. Configuration of the coastline
  4. Depth of the sea
  5. Supply of beach material
  6. Beach width
  7. Nature of the rock

Wave Transport

  1. Beach: Formed by deposition of mud, sand or pebbles along the coast.
  2. Barrier Beach: A long ridge of sand parallel to but separated from the coast ridge by a lagoon.
  3. Spit: A narrow ridge of sand joined to the mainland with the other end terminating in the sea
  4. Bar: A ridge of material (usually sand) lying parallel to the coast
  5. Tombolo: A ridge joining an island to the mainland
  6. Offshore Bar: Developed on the gently sloping seabed. Occurs when sand is thrown up by waves breaking close to the coast.
  7. Mudflat: Developed when tides/waves deposit fine sand along gently sloping coasts particularly in bars and estuaries.

Course Notes