Deposition features on an OS map


Here are some examples of depositional features identifiable on a map.

Name evidence

On this extract, the term 'sands' appears at 833443, Slapton Sands. Start 'Bay' itself lies between the headlands of Start Point 8337 and Combe Point (to the north-east, off the map extract area). In Scotland, the term 'links' often indicates a sandy area along a coastline.

OS extract showing the location of Slapton Sands© Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey 100039117


The shape of the coast is also a good indicator. In the above extract the smoothness of the coastline shown indicates a depositional coastline. This contrasts with the roughness of the erosional coastline area around Start Point.

Longshore drift

OS extract showing the smooth coastline
© Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey 100039117

When sand spits appear on an OS map the direction of the longshore drift can be determined, as it will be moving towards the point where the end of the spit is being formed. Here however, the direction cannot be determined from the map as the spits have formed sand bars right across the river mouths.

Sand spits

Sand spits are fairly easy to identify on an OS map. The fact that they extend out into the water is a good way of spotting them and if you look closely, you can see the curved hook at the end.