Processes operating at the coast.

  • Created by: Lisa Paul
  • Created on: 06-04-18 12:37


Erosion: The wearing away of the earth's surfaces by the mechanical action of the processes of the glaciers, wind, rivers and marine waves.

Processes or Erosion

Attrition: Attrition is a form of coastal or river erosion, when the bed load is eroded by itself and the bed. As rocks are transported downstream along a riverbed, the regular impacts between the grains themselves and between the grains and the bed cause them to be broken up into fragments. 

Abrasion/ Corrasion: Where material carried by moving water or wind (or ice) hits exposed rock surfaces, thus wearing them away. Often referred to as sandblasting or sand papering effect.

Hydraulic Action: Hydraulic Action refers to the impact of the sheer force of the water itself (without debris). This can exert enormous pressure upon a rock surface, thus weakening it. Such activity is sometimes reffered to as wave pounding.

Corrosion: The dissolving of rocks e.g. limestone.


Transportation is the processes that move material from the site where erosion took place to the site where erosion took place to the site of deposition.

Saltation: Small pebbles and stones and boulders are rolled and slid along the sea bed.

Traction:  Large stones and boulders are rolled and slid along the seabed. 

Suspension: Very small particles of sand and silt are carried along by the moving sea water.

Solution: Dissolved materials are transported within the moving water. 

Longshore Drift: Where waves approach the shore at an angle and swash and backwash then transport material along the coast in the direction of the prevailing wind and waves.

Deposition: Deposition occurs when the velocity of the wind decreases untill  it can no longer carry/transport the grains it is carrying. 

Mass Movement

Mass Movement is the movement of the material downhill under the influence of gravity, but may also be assisted by rainfall.



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