Coastal Systems and Landscapes

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Coastal Zones

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Onshore zone


Swash zone

Nearshore zone

Surf zone

Breaker zone

Offshore and subtidal zone

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Broken waves travel towards shore. Sediment movement may be onshore/offshore/along coast.

Where cliff/land is.

Waves are modified and sediment movement occurs, e.g. deposition.

Water depths greater than half the wave length of incoming wave. Limited sediment movement by waves. Tidal currents most effective.

Varies in width depending on type of wave.

Varies with tides. Waves up and down as swash and backwash.

Sand dune, beach ridges, beaches or cliffs may or may not be present here. Only affected by waves under storm conditions.