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Examine the Factors Affecting the Development of Landforms of Coastal Deposition

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Coastal environment is the dynamic interface between land and sea with many distinctive coastal landforms, given rise by a range of physical processes, including deposition.

Beaches are landforms of deposition. Its development is affected by wave characteristics, specifically constructive wave. They have long wavelengths are long and wave height often less than one metre. The breaking waves have low levels of energy. The resulting swash is quickly absorbed by the beach. Because the wave has low energy, the backwash is weak so it cannot bring the sediment back to the sea. The result is the sediment stays on the beach, gradually builds up the beach. Along the beach, materials deposited vary in size. Smallest particles are deposited near the water and larger sediments are deposited further inland, near the back of the beach.

Another factor that may affect the development of depositional landforms is beach type. Drift-aligned beaches form when wave approach the coastline at an angle and sediment is transported along the coast by the action of longshore drift. When wave approach the shore, sediment is pushed up at an oblique angle by swash (this angle is determined by the prevailing winds) and removed back to the sea by backwash. Spits are formed when there is an abrupt change in the direction of the coastline. Sediments are transported by the longshore drift in the same direction as the coastline. In order for deposition to take place, there must be weaker tides, slower moving water and shallow water. A spit is joined to the coastline at one end and finished in a recurved end in the open sea. The recurve of the spit is formed when there is an abrupt change in the wind and wave direction. An example of a spit is Spurn Head, found along the Holderness coast in Humberside. A tombolo is a spit connecting the mainland to an island and a bar is a spit that connects two headlands.

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