A beach is a landform that occurs along the edge of a body of water, usually a sea, lake, or wide river. It is generally made up of sand or other materials such as cobbles, shells, and gravel. A beach is not always a fixed, solid piece of land; it can move over long distances in response to weathering and erosion.
The surface of a beach is usually covered with sand, which can be either white or black. It also may be covered in small stones, shells, or even kelp and algae. The colors of the sand and stones are due to the geology of the area where the beach is located. Some beaches are dominated by black basalt, for example, while others are based primarily on coral or white quart.
Some beaches are surrounded by large rocks and boulders that break away from the shoreline, forming sandbars. These sandbars often become islands when the tide goes down. They are sometimes seen only during low tide and can be very secluded.
Beaches are popular places for swimming and relaxing. They also provide a great place to watch ocean wildlife, such as dolphins, whales, and seals.
They are important for preserving habitats and fish species as well. Moreover, they are vital for the economy of coastal areas by providing jobs, food, and income to residents.
The shape of a beach can be very different from one another, depending on the local climate, ocean currents, and the amount of sediment in the waters. For instance, some beaches are shaped like small cliffs while others are more open and wide.
There are also beaches that are formed by sand deposited in the ocean over time, or by shells and other marine debris that washed in during a storm. Other beaches are built by the wind and waves, such as sand dunes.
Some beaches are polluted by sewage, chemicals, and other waste. This type of pollution can be dangerous to human health, especially if it is left to linger for a long time.
During strong storms, many beachfront properties are closed to the public. This is especially true in urban areas, where many residential and commercial buildings are close to the beach. In the last decade, many of these beaches have been closed due to outbreaks of fecal coliform bacteria caused by sewage runoff in dense residential areas.
Beaches are also a popular spot for people to gather and socialize. They are especially popular in the summer, when people can enjoy the sun and the sea.
The sea can be very exciting, especially when the waves are crashing. The best way to experience this is to surf. There are three types of surf breaks: point breaks, reef breaks, and beach breaks.
A point break happens when a wave breaks against the crest of a rock or headland, and a reef break happens when the swell strikes over an area of coral or rocky reef. A beach break, on the other hand, happens when a rolling wave interacts with a series of shallow sand banks.