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Geography

Depositional landforms

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Along a coastline you find features created by deposition [deposition: The 'dumping' or dropping of sediment. ]. These include beaches, spits and tombolos.

Beaches

A beach showing berms

A beach showing berms

Beaches are a common feature of a coastline. Beaches are made up of eroded material that has been transported from elsewhere and deposited by the sea.

Constructive waves help to build up beaches. The material found on a beach (ie sand or shingle) depends on the geology of the area and wave energy.

A cross-section of a beach is called a beach profile. The shingle ridges often found towards the back of a beach are called berms.

A pebble beach with a steep profile

A pebble beach with a steep profile

The material found on a beach varies in size and type as you move further away from the shoreline. The smallest material is deposited near the water and larger material is found nearer to the cliffs at the back of the beach. Large material is deposited at the back of the beach in times of high energy, for example during a storm. Most waves break near the shoreline, so sediment near the water is more effectively broken down by attrition.

Sandy beaches have gently sloping profiles and shingle and pebble beaches are steeper.

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