Encyclopedia of Coastal Science

2019 Edition
| Editors: Charles W. Finkl, Christopher Makowski

Beach Features

  • Michael J. ChrzastowskiEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-93806-6_34

Limits and Formation of Beach Features

When discussing the types of features that can be observed along a beach, it is important to first consider the boundaries in the coastal zone that define the limits of a beach. In everyday usage and in the scientific literature, there are some differences in defining these limits, primarily with regard to the seaward limit. Recreational beach users will often consider the beach to extend no farther seaward than the shoreline, and thus limit the beach to an entirely emergent feature, having a width that varies with changing water level. Scientific usage typically extends the beach out to the maximum limit of low water regardless of the water level at any particular time. In some scientific usage, such as in the discussion of coastal sediment dynamics, the seaward limit of the beach may be considered to extend out to the breaker zone (Fig. 1) well beyond the low-water shoreline. The most useful definition, and the one used here, is that the beach...
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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Illinois State Geological SurveyChampaignUSA