A series of images showing how a longshore drift drags sand across a bay, eventually creating a lagoon and sandbar

A bar is created when there is a gap in the coastland with water in it. This could be a bay or a natural hollow in the coastland. The process of longshore drift occurs and this carries material across the front of the bay.

Material is pushed up onto beaches at an 45 degree angle when the swash brings it onto the coastline. The backwash takes it back out towards the sea at a right angle to the coast. Through this process material is constantly moved along the coastline.

The deposited material eventually joins up with the other side of the bay and a strip of deposited material blocks off the water in the bay. The area behind the newly formed bar is known as a lagoon.