[Tagging] Definition of a Beach

Christoph Hormann osm at imagico.de
Thu Aug 15 13:01:48 UTC 2019

On Thursday 15 August 2019, ael wrote:
> I was going to comment that a beach has to meet the water at the same
> level. That is maybe sort of implied above? As opposed to a cliff or
> even wall.

The beach being composed of loose material and being formed by water 
waves implies the beach and the water level intersect and the slope 
being limited.

> I am not sure that a beach is required to have a "significant" slope.

The slope necessarily forms if loose material is being deposited and 
shaped by waves.  As Josef said if the slope is very small the waves 
will not be the dominating force shaping the coast any more and tidal 
currents will be the force shaping the area.  How steep and how wide 
the slope is depends on the relationship of tides, waves and grain size 
of the material.

There are of course also borderline cases to and combinations with other 
coastal land forms like spits, longshore bars etc.  There might also be 
artificial beach nourishment measures that modify the profile.  So 
beaches will not necessarily have a continuous slope everywhere.  But a 
slope on which waves break and water washes up and down with each wave 
is a defining element of a beach.

Christoph Hormann

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