The bedform of a beach is infinitely variable and changes with each tidal cycle. A typical coastal bedform is shown in Figure 2.1. The process is very dynamic and each tidal cycle reveals new features. This process is the primary cause of beaches. However, human activity has a major impact on beaches. There are several factors that influence beach formation and erosion. Read on to learn more about the natural processes that affect shorelines.
The type of a beach is a key factor in its aesthetic appeal and the way it is used by people. The composition of the beach is determined by the composition of sediments upstream. Changing wave energy creates different types of beaches. In summer, for example, seas are calmer and longer between breaking wave crests. This gentler wave action transports sediment up the shore and holds it there until the water recedes. The presence of vegetation and dunes on a beach can slow down fluid flow at the surface layer.
The composition of a beach depends on the sediments that have accumulated in the area upstream of the beach. Storms, wind, and erosive forces erode the sediments, resulting in a sandy surface. When it rains heavily, the water may be contaminated with sewage and chemicals, which may result in beach closures. If the water has an unusually green color, it is best to stay off the shoreline until the situation improves.
The composition of the beach changes during the tide seasons. In summer, seas are calmer and the periods between breaking waves are longer. During the winter, waves pound cliffs, and the sand and sediments move up the beach and settle on the berm when the water recedes. Onshore winds also carry sediment inland and enhance dunes. These two processes are crucial to the health of beaches and their surroundings. A well-maintained beach is an enjoyable place for people to spend the day.
The composition of a beach is dependent on the sediments that are upstream of the shoreline. The compaction of the sediments is determined by the particle size and its density. A compacted beach is more resistant to erosion. Establishment of vegetation on a coastline will slow the flow of fluids at the surface layer. This is a major factor in determining the composition of a beach. Soil types and a sandy shore are similar to those of fertile soils.
The composition of a beach is a combination of sand and pebbles. Its composition is largely influenced by the types of sediments that are upstream of the shore. The more compacted the sediments, the more resistant they are to erosion. The presence of established vegetation will also slow the fluid’s flow at the surface layer. The sand will also slow the growth of plants. This process will eventually change the appearance of the beach.