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GCSE Geography - Physical > The Coastal Zone > Flashcards

Flashcards in The Coastal Zone Deck (45)
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What is mechanical weathering?

The breakdown of rock without changing its chemical composition.


What is chemical weathering?

The breakdown of rock by changing its chemical composition


What happens during freeze thaw weathering?

-Water gets into cracks in the rock
-It freezes and expands, putting pressure on the rock
-The water thaws and contracts, releasing the pressure
-The process repeats and widens the cracks


What is carbonation weathering?

-Rainwater has carbon dioxide dissolved in it which makes weak carbonic acid
-Carbonic acid reacts with rock that contains calcium carbonate


What is mass movement?

When material shifts down a slope as one, under the force of gravity


What are slides?

Material shifting in a straight line


What are slumps?

Material shifts with a rotation


Mass movement causes coasts to...

...retreat rapidly


When is mass movement more likely to happen?

When the material is full of water, as it acts as a lubricant


What are the 4 processes of erosion?

Hydraulic action, abrasion, attrition and solution


What is Hydraulic action?

Waves crash against the rock and compress the air in the cracks. This puts pressure on the rock. Repeated compression widens the cracks and bits of rock break off


What is abrasion?

Eroded particles in the water scrape and rub against the rock, removing small pieces


What is attrition?

Eroded particles in the water smash into each other, and break into smaller fragments. Their edges also get rounded off.


What is solution?

Weak carbonic acid in seawater dissolves rock like chalk and limestone


What are the features of a destructive wave?

-High frequency (10-14 a minute)
-They're high and steep
-Their backwash is more powerful than their swash
-They remove material from the coast


Waves erode cliffs to form...

...wave cut platforms


How are wave cut platforms formed?

-Waves cause most erosion at the foot of a cliff.
-This forms a wave cut notch, which is enlarged as erosion continues
-Undercutting occurs
-The rock above becomes unstable and collapses
-Repeated collapsing causes the cliff to retreat
-A wave cut platform is left behind


How are Headlands and Bays formed?

-Headlands and bays form where there are alternating bands of hard and soft rock along a coast
-The less resistant rock is eroded quickly and this forms a bay
-The resistant rock is eroded more slowly so is left protruding into the sea, forming a headland


How does longshore drift occur?

-Waves follow the direction of the prevailing wind
-The hit the coastline at an oblique angle
-The swash carries material up the beach, in the same direction as the waves
-The backwash then carries material down the beach at right angles
-Material zigzags along the beach over time


What is deposition?

When material being carried by the sea is dropped on the coast


When are coasts built up?

When the amount of deposition is greater than the amount of erosion


When is the amount of material deposited increased?

-There's lots of erosion elsewhere on the coast
-There's lots of transportation of material into the area


Which waves give a lot of deposition but not much erosion?

Low energy waves


What are the features of a constructive wave?

-They're low in frequency (6-8 per min)
-They're low and low
-The swash is powerful and carries material up the coast
-The backwash is weaker and it doesn't take a lot of material back down the coast


Beaches are formed by...



Which marks are beaches found between?

The high water mark and the low water mark


What type of waves are beaches formed by?



Sand beaches are...

...flat and wide - sand particles are small and the weak backwash can move them back down the beach


Shingle beaches are...

...steep and narrow - shingle particles are large and the weak backwash can't move them back down the beach


How are spits formed?

-The from at sharp bends in the coastline
-Longshore drift transports sand and shingle past the bend and deposits it in the sea
-Strong winds and waves can curve the end of the spit
-The sheltered are behind the spit can accumulate material, forming a salt marsh