A beach is a strip of land that forms along a body of water. The materials on a beach are mostly sand and pebbles, but can also consist of rocks, seashell fragments, and other natural materials. These materials are deposited by tides and wind, and most beaches are never stationary. Beaches can stretch hundreds of kilometers, or even thousands of miles, long.
A beach has two types of bedforms: the recreational beach and the submerged beach. The recreational beach is the sand strip from the low tide line to the base of the first dune. The submerged portion of a beach extends thirty to sixty feet seaward. The steepness of this section indicates the boundary with the continental shelf. While beaches are often featureless, there are some distinct features that define them, such as sandbars and wavy features.
One major problem facing beaches is pollution. Many beaches are heavily polluted because waves wash in waste from the inland and deposit it on the beach. These pollutants can be harmful to human health. Even small amounts of sewage can be dangerous to swim in. It can take days for these toxic waters to wash out to sea.
Other critters that you might see on a beach are blood worms, which are named after their red color because of their hemoglobin. These creatures live in the mid-intertidal zone and burrow into damp sand during low tide. They eat the sand while they burrow, but they also consume organic material that they come into contact with. In addition to blood worms, there are many other types of clams that live on beaches, including bean clams, razor clams, and pismo clams.
Sand crabs can be found on the beach. They are not always in the same spot, and their habitat changes as the tide changes. The sandy beaches are more vulnerable to extreme temperatures, and they don’t have the nutrients found in fertile soil. However, some plants can grow in dunes and other sandy areas. A good beach is a place for exploration.
The composition of the beach depends on the sediments that were washed ashore and how they were transported. If the coastline is exposed to intense winds, rocks and sediments are more likely to accumulate on it. Waves are also erosive, and when the period between crests is short, the sediment cannot settle. The result is a beach that is a mix of sand and rocks.
When you go to the beach, you should wear a life jacket to protect yourself from rip currents. Even though lifeguards aren’t always present, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Make sure to stay close to the shore and never enter water that is too deep. Avoid deep sections of the beach where rip currents can occur.
In addition to sandy beaches, there are beaches that are made of artificial materials. These can be permanent or temporary. A great example of this is the artificial beach in Copenhagen, Denmark.