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GEG 120
Peter Muller

COASTAL PROCESSES Two Major Concerns -How coastal landscapes were formed and continue to be reshaped -Impact of human activities: managing development Basic Terminology -Littoral Zone: where land meets the sea -Coast: strip of land where coastal processes combine to form characteristic of landscapes -Shore (shoreline): narrower belt of land containing the ever-changing contact border between land and water WAVES AND THEIR PROPERTIES -Ocean waves are the dominant erosional agents in shaping coastal landforms -generated by the wind (energy of mving air tranfered to the water surface) -large waves from when wind velocity is high, direction is persistent, duration is protracted, and fetch (distance over which wind blows) is long -Ocean surface typically marked by long rolling waves (swells) -wave height: vertical distance between crest and trough -wave length: horizontal distance between two crests -Swells do not move the water surface: passing wave throws the water into an orbital motion (circular up and down waves of oscillation) WAVES AGAINST THE SHORE -Swells maintain their energy and can travek great distances -When they approach shore and enter shallower water, orbital motion is disrupted when seabed "felt" -Circular orbit now compressed into an oval one (see bottom panel of diagram) -Wavelength and speed decreases, water is pushed upward and wave breaks as the crest collapses forward as a breaker: -Final wave action and sand movement -Surf: zone containing the sequence of breaking waves (photo above left) -Swash: spent wave slides up beach in thinning sheet of water carrying sand landward backwash: water flows back toward the sea, again carrying sand with it WAVE REFRACTION -Waves parallel to the shoreline in surf zone mainly caused by shoaling (the impact of shallow water on advancing wave) -Most waves
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