The dynamics of a beach can be difficult to describe, but the basic facts are fairly clear: the beach is shaped by tides and ocean currents. Waves push loose sediments and sand further south until they reach the shore, where they are deposited in sandbanks. The sands on the beach change in composition with the seasons, and are constantly being rearranged and reshaped by the wind and tides. Storm winds can blow sand up into the air, causing beaches to erode. Beaches are also formed by the erosion of headlands and rocks offshore. Some sand particles are also created by fish, which feed on algae.
The type of sand found on a beach varies widely, depending on its geology. Some beaches are made up of coarse grains, while others are made up of fine grains, such as quartz. The color of the sand depends on its origins, though most beaches are tan or brown. If you explore a beach thoroughly, you will notice many interesting features, including tree stumps, outcrops of mud layers, and rocks.
The process of erosion occurs when sediments are delivered from the land, through glaciers, rivers, and shoreline erosion, and they are moved onto a beach by wave currents. This process is also called beach accretion and beach erosion. The process of sediment accumulation depends on a positive and negative sediment supply, and a combination of these processes is what produces the different subsystems of a beach.
The sea level changes the beach profile according to the time of year. In summer, the waves are calmer and the periods between breaking waves are longer, resulting in a gentler beach. This gentle wave action moves sediment up and a berm is formed. When the water recedes, the sand is left behind on the berm. The waves also carry sediment further inland, which increases dunes.
The composition of a beach depends on the sediments upstream of the shoreline. Various factors such as particle size and compaction determine how fast the sediments can be eroded. Generally, the higher the compaction of the sediment, the less likely it will be to be eroded. In addition, the presence of vegetation will slow down the flow of fluid at the surface layer.
Sand is a natural resource that is used for many different purposes. Crabs, birds, and insects feed on the sand left behind by the waves. Sea turtles and other sea creatures lay their eggs on the beaches. Sea grasses and other plants can grow on the beach’s sides. During the winter, many beaches close for safety and sanitation.
A beach is a landform along the coast, usually made up of loose particles, such as sand, gravel, and sand. These materials can be biological or igneous. The most common mineral found in a beach is quartz. Beaches also serve as natural landing areas for boats. In fact, there are specialized landing craft that are designed for this purpose.