The Composition of a Beach
A beach is an area of land that erodes due to a combination of abrasion and erosion. Waves and tides also play a role in sculpting the beach. Soft rocks erode faster than harder ones, so beaches often feature wide bays. The resulting sandbars and other features can be beautiful to look at and can add a special dimension to any beach. But a beach is not just about sand, it is also about the environment.
The composition of a beach depends on the sediments that form the shoreline. The type of sediments and the rate of sediment delivery determine the configuration of a particular beach. The first kind of a coastal formation is a narrow strip of sediments abutting a rocky coastline. Another type of beach is a flat, shallow area of sand that is the outer margin of a marine accumulation plain. The third category of beaches is a narrow barrier of sand that separates a lagoon from the open sea. The last two are characterized by the presence of tidal inlets.
The composition of a beach also varies seasonally and hourly due to varying sea conditions and erosive wave action. A single day of strong wave action can wipe out a beach. In the winter, the exposed portion of a beach becomes narrower and in some places disappears completely. In the spring, the sand starts to grow back and reach maximum development. There are numerous types of temporary changes to a coast, but none is more drastic than the one described above.
The composition of a beach varies depending on the type of sediments that have been deposited upstream of the beach. The density and state of compaction of the sediments will affect how they move. The more compacted the sediments, the less prone they are to erosion. If there are reed beds or other vegetation adjacent to the head of the beach, the surface is more exposed to wind erosion. Changing the composition of the water can also alter the composition of the beach.
A beach is a landform made up of sediments that have accumulated along the shore. Depending on the type of sediments and the rate of delivery, the shape and contour of a beach may differ. In the United States, beaches can be divided into three types. The first type of a sandy peninsula is a narrow strip of sediment that is bordered by a rocky coast. The second type of a beach is a large expanse of sand that is a wide, irregularly shaped plain of marine accumulation.
The composition of a beach is highly dependent on the sediments that were previously deposited upstream of the shore. Depending on the type of sediments, a beach may consist of sand or gravel, and may also have boulders or gravel. Other types of beaches may be composed of organic matter. The composition of a beach depends on the type of water and the types of vegetation that grows near the shore. A small amount of vegetation, such as a shrub, can prevent the erosion of a beach.