Characteristics of a Beach
A beach is a landform that runs along the coast of a body water. It’s generally a gentle slope that is made of sand, pebbles, rocks, and seashell fragments. Most of these materials are a result of weathering; water and wind have weathered the land over a long period of time. Large boulders can be reduced to small grains of sand. Even large boulders can be made into beaches.
The waves pounding the shore create the sand. The waves create sand by smoothing out rough edges and leaving behind smaller grains that feel soft. Different minerals weather differently, and they create different colors and textures. Quartz is a light brown color while feldspar is tan. These minerals combine to create the sand-colored hues of many beaches. If a beach has a lot quartz and feldspar, it is considered beautiful.
The berm is a platform of sediment deposited by higher waves during severe storms. Often, the berms contain abundant shell debris. A beach berm can also be shaped as a trough, or a long shorebar. This feature is important in defining the beach’s character, even though it is often overlooked. Below are some of the most common characteristics of a beach.
The material that forms a beach is derived from the ocean’s sediments. Quartz sand is the main material that forms a beach in most cases. Some beaches may be made from limestone or basalt grains. The beach is not static because of these changes. It is constantly changing, and a beach can be hundreds of kilometers long. A beach is the perfect recreational destination for both locals and visitors alike.
Marine life is also affected by beach pollution. Birds and marine mammals may choke on small pieces of plastic, while other animals in tide pools may become entangled in floating plastic. Plastic is also harmful to flora and fauna, preventing algae and sea plants from developing. It also prevents animals from finding nutrients in tide pools. You can make a difference to protect your beach and the water it contains by following a few easy steps.
A beach can be classified according to its bedform. The recreational beach is the strip of sand that extends from low-tide to the first dunes. The submerged beach extends thirty to sixty foot further seaward and is more steep than the low tide line. The continental shelf straddles this beach. A beach is not featureless; sandbars are common and wavy features are called bedforms.
The type of a beach reflects its natural environment. Its waves, tides, currents, and shape all influence the way water flows. Wave climate and tide range also influence the type of beach. Lower waves are found on beaches that have been modified by tides. These beaches are softened by the low-tide tidal range. If you love the beach and the water, don’t let it get too close to a beach.