Understanding Beach Sand
A beach is basically a gently sloping, narrow strip of sandy land that borders the edge of a body of water, river, or lake. Sand is usually the main constituent of beaches. Most beaches contain natural objects like pebbles, stones, and shells which are the result of gradual weathering and eroding over time. The composition of a beach can vary greatly from one location to another.
In the southern part of the United States, an assortment of natural objects like sands, weeds, plants, and pebbles constitute a beach. In Florida, the critical factor in determining a beach’s level of attractiveness is the proximity of the beach to an ocean. A beach can be defined as a strip of land right next to an ocean. This definition includes bodies of water such as lakes, bays, oceans, and rivers. For the most part, a body of water constitutes the entire length of a beach. It may sometimes border other bodies of water, but more often it will share space with them.
There are many different sizes, colors, shapes, depths, and forms of sandy beaches. A wide variety of colors, such as white, peach, pink, yellow, and red, decorate the surface of many beaches. These colors come from deposits of iron and various other minerals found in coastal environments. The grains of sand make these surfaces soft and easy to walk on.
Seaweed, marine life, sand, and other naturally occurring elements combine to create a texture that is different than the flat, solid surface of a beach. When a body of water rests on top of a beach, its waves interact with the beach. The interaction produces an edging effect on the beach, creating the indentation of waves known as waves.
The movement of waves can be helped along by man-made materials. Rock is one such material. Beach, rock, and tile construction have provided many years for the building of distinct structures at a beach. These structures line the beach and give it the shape of various attractions. Some examples of structures located at or near beaches include amusement parks, bridges, and monuments.
Sand and beach sand comes in many different varieties. Different varieties of sand can even act as barriers to tides. Barriers of this type have helped to line beaches for many years. In the next article, you will learn how the motion of tides and the effects of beach debris have influenced the design of beaches around the world.