A beach is a landform alongside a body of water which consists of
loose particles. The particles composing a beach are typically made
from rock, such as sand, gravel, shingle, pebbles, or cobblestones.
The particles can also be biological in origin, such as mollusc shells
or coralline algae.
Some beaches have man-made infrastructure, such as lifeguard posts,
changing rooms, and showers. They may also have hospitality venues
(such as resorts, camps, hotels, and restaurants) nearby. Wild
beaches, also known as undeveloped or undiscovered beaches, are not
developed in this manner. Wild beaches can be valued for their
untouched beauty and preserved nature.
Beaches typically occur in areas along the coast where wave or current
action deposits and reworks sediments.
2 Beaches and recreation
2.1.1 Seaside resorts for the working class
2.1.2 Expansion around the world
2.3 Artificial beaches
2.4 Restrictions on access
2.4.1 Private beaches
2.4.2 Public beaches
Beach erosion and accretion
4.1 Natural erosion and accretion
4.1.2 Effects on flora
4.1.3 Effects on adjacent land
4.2 Manmade erosion and accretion
4.2.1 Destruction of flora
4.2.2 Creation of beach access points
4.2.3 Concentration of runoff
4.2.4 Deprivation of runoff
4.2.5 Inappropriate beach nourishment
Beach access design
5.1 Concrete ramp or steps
5.2 Corduroy (beach ladder)
5.3 Fabric ramp
5.4 Foliage ramp
6 Longest beaches
8 See also
10 Further reading
11 External links
The four sections of most beaches.
Swash zone: is alternately covered and exposed by wave run-up.
Beach face: sloping section below berm that is exposed to the swash of
Wrack line: the highest reach of the daily tide where organic and
inorganic debris is deposited by wave action.
Berm: Nearly horizontal portion that stays dry except during extremely
high tides and storms. May have sand dunes.
Although the seashore is most commonly associated with the word beach,
beaches are also found by lakes and alongside large rivers.
Beach may refer to:
small systems where rock material moves onshore, offshore, or
alongshore by the forces of waves and currents; or
geological units of considerable size.
The former are described in detail below; the larger geological units
are discussed elsewhere under bars.
There are several conspicuous parts to a beach that relate to the
processes that form and shape it. The part mostly above water
(depending upon tide), and more or less actively influenced by the
waves at some point in the tide, is termed the beach berm. The berm is
the deposit of material comprising the active shoreline. The berm has
a crest (top) and a face—the latter being the slope leading down
towards the water from the crest. At the very bottom of the face,
there may be a trough, and further seaward one or more long shore
bars: slightly raised, underwater embankments formed where the waves
first start to break.
The sand deposit may extend well inland from the berm crest, where
there may be evidence of one or more older crests (the storm beach)
resulting from very large storm waves and beyond the influence of the
normal waves. At some point the influence of the waves (even storm
waves) on the material comprising the beach stops, and if the
particles are small enough (sand size or smaller), winds shape the
feature. Where wind is the force distributing the grains inland, the
deposit behind the beach becomes a dune.
These geomorphic features compose what is called the beach profile.
The beach profile changes seasonally due to the change in wave energy
experienced during summer and winter months. In temperate areas where
summer is characterised by calmer seas and longer periods between
breaking wave crests, the beach profile is higher in summer. The
gentle wave action during this season tends to transport sediment up
the beach towards the berm where it is deposited and remains while the
water recedes. Onshore winds carry it further inland forming and
Conversely, the beach profile is lower in the storm season (winter in
temperate areas) due to the increased wave energy, and the shorter
periods between breaking wave crests. Higher energy waves breaking in
quick succession tend to mobilise sediment from the shallows, keeping
it in suspension where it is prone to be carried along the beach by
longshore currents, or carried out to sea to form longshore bars,
especially if the longshore current meets an outflow from a river or
flooding stream. The removal of sediment from the beach berm and dune
thus decreases the beach profile.
In tropical areas, the storm season tends to be during the summer
months, with calmer weather commonly associated with the winter
If storms coincide with unusually high tides, or with a freak wave
event such as a tidal surge or tsunami which causes significant
coastal flooding, substantial quantities of material may be eroded
from the coastal plain or dunes behind the berm by receding water.
This flow may alter the shape of the coastline, enlarge the mouths of
rivers and create new deltas at the mouths of streams that had not
been powerful enough to overcome longshore movement of sediment.
The line between beach and dune is difficult to define in the field.
Over any significant period of time, sediment is always being
exchanged between them. The drift line (the high point of material
deposited by waves) is one potential demarcation. This would be the
point at which significant wind movement of sand could occur, since
the normal waves do not wet the sand beyond this area. However, the
drift line is likely to move inland under assault by storm waves.
Beaches and recreation
A popular Victorian seaside resort. Llandudno, 1856
Brighton, The Front and the Chain Pier Seen in the Distance, early
The development of the beach as a popular leisure resort from the
mid-19th century was the first manifestation of what is now the global
tourist industry. The first seaside resorts were opened in the 18th
century for the aristocracy, who began to frequent the seaside as well
as the then fashionable spa towns, for recreation and health. One
of the earliest such seaside resorts, was Scarborough in Yorkshire
during the 1720s; it had been a fashionable spa town since a stream of
acidic water was discovered running from one of the cliffs to the
south of the town in the 17th century. The first rolling bathing
machines were introduced by 1735.
The opening of the resort in
Brighton and its reception of royal
patronage from King George IV, extended the seaside as a resort for
health and pleasure to the much larger
London market, and the beach
became a centre for upper-class pleasure and frivolity. This trend was
praised and artistically elevated by the new romantic ideal of the
picturesque landscape; Jane Austen's unfinished novel
Sanditon is an
example of that. Later, Queen Victoria's long-standing patronage of
Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight and
Kent ensured that a seaside
residence was considered as a highly fashionable possession for those
wealthy enough to afford more than one home.
Seaside resorts for the working class
Promenade c. 1898
The extension of this form of leisure to the middle and working class
began with the development of the railways in the 1840s, which offered
cheap and affordable fares to fast growing resort towns. In
particular, the completion of a branch line to the small seaside town
Blackpool from Poultron led to a sustained economic and demographic
boom. A sudden influx of visitors, arriving by rail, provided the
motivation for entrepreneurs to build accommodation and create new
attractions, leading to more visitors and a rapid cycle of growth
throughout the 1850s and 1860s.
The growth was intensified by the practice among the Lancashire cotton
mill owners of closing the factories for a week every year to service
and repair machinery. These became known as wakes weeks. Each town's
mills would close for a different week, allowing
Blackpool to manage a
steady and reliable stream of visitors over a prolonged period in the
summer. A prominent feature of the resort was the promenade and the
pleasure piers, where an eclectic variety of performances vied for the
people's attention. In 1863, the North Pier in
completed, rapidly becoming a centre of attraction for elite visitors.
Central Pier was completed in 1868, with a theatre and a large
open-air dance floor.
Many of the popular beach resorts were equipped with bathing machines
because even the all-covering beachwear of the period was considered
immodest. By the end of the century the English coastline had over 100
large resort towns, some with populations exceeding 50,000.
Expansion around the world
Seaside facade at Monte Carlo, 1870s
The development of the seaside resort abroad was stimulated by the
well developed English love of the beach. The
French Riviera alongside
Mediterranean had already become a popular destination for the
British upper class by the end of the 18th century. In 1864, the first
Nice was completed, making the Riviera accessible to
visitors from all over Europe. By 1874, residents of foreign enclaves
in Nice, most of whom were British, numbered 25,000. The coastline
became renowned for attracting the royalty of Europe, including Queen
Victoria and King Edward VII.
Continental European attitudes towards gambling and nakedness tended
to be more lax than in Britain, so British and French entrepreneurs
were quick to exploit the possibilities. In 1863, the Prince of
Monaco, Charles III and François Blanc, a French businessman,
arranged for steamships and carriages to take visitors from
Monaco, where large luxury hotels, gardens and casinos were built. The
place was renamed Monte Carlo.
Commercial sea bathing spread to the
United States and parts of the
British Empire by the end of the 19th century. By the late 1890s,
Henry Flagler developed the Florida East
Coast Railway, which linked
the coastal sea resorts developing at St. Augustine, FL and Miami
Beach, FL, to winter travelers from the northern
United States and
Canada on the East
Coast Railway. By the early 20th century surfing
was developed in
Hawaii and Australia, and then moving to southern
California by the early 1960s. By the 1970s cheap and affordable air
travel was the catalyst for the growth of a truly global tourism
market which benefited areas such as the Mediterranean, Australia,
South Africa, and the coastal
Sun Belt regions of the United States.
Joaquín Sorolla (1904)
Tourists at the
Mediterranean Sea beach of Barcelona, 2007
Bondi Beach, a popular beach area in Sydney, Australia.
Beaches can be popular on warm sunny days. In the Victorian era, many
popular beach resorts were equipped with bathing machines because even
the all-covering beachwear of the period was considered immodest. This
social standard still prevails in many Muslim countries. At the other
end of the spectrum are topfree beaches and nude beaches where
clothing is optional or not allowed. In most countries social norms
are significantly different on a beach in hot weather, compared to
adjacent areas where similar behavior might not be tolerated and might
even be prosecuted.
In more than thirty countries in Europe, South Africa, New Zealand,
Canada, Costa Rica, South America and the Caribbean, the best
recreational beaches are awarded Blue Flag status, based on such
criteria as water quality and safety provision. Subsequent loss of
this status can have a severe effect on tourism revenues.
Beaches are often dumping grounds for waste and litter, necessitating
the use of beach cleaners and other cleanup projects. More
significantly, many beaches are a discharge zone for untreated sewage
in most underdeveloped countries; even in developed countries beach
closure is an occasional circumstance due to sanitary sewer overflow.
In these cases of marine discharge, waterborne disease from fecal
pathogens and contamination of certain marine species are a frequent
Some beaches are artificial; they are either permanent or temporary
(For examples see Monaco, Paris, Copenhagen, Rotterdam, Nottingham,
Toronto, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Tianjin).
The soothing qualities of a beach and the pleasant environment offered
to the beachgoer are replicated in artificial beaches, such as "beach
style" pools with zero-depth entry and wave pools that recreate the
natural waves pounding upon a beach. In a zero-depth entry pool, the
bottom surface slopes gradually from above water down to depth.
Another approach involves so-called urban beaches, a form of public
park becoming common in large cities. Urban beaches attempt to mimic
natural beaches with fountains that imitate surf and mask city noises,
and in some cases can be used as a play park.
Beach nourishment involves pumping sand onto beaches to improve their
Beach nourishment is common for major beach cities around the
world; however the beaches that have been nourished can still appear
quite natural and often many visitors are unaware of the works
undertaken to support the health of the beach. Such beaches are often
not recognized by consumers as artificial. A famous example of beach
nourishment came with the replenishment of Waikīkī
Honolulu, Hawaii, where sand from
Manhattan Beach, California
Manhattan Beach, California was
transported via ship and barge throughout most of the 20th century in
order to combat Waikiki's erosion problems. The Surfrider Foundation
has debated the merits of artificial reefs with members torn between
their desire to support natural coastal environments and opportunities
to enhance the quality of surfing waves. Similar debates surround
beach nourishment and snow cannon in sensitive environments.
Restrictions on access
Public access to beaches is restricted in some parts of the
world. For example, most beaches on the Jersey
restricted to people who can purchase beach tags. Some beaches
also restrict dogs for some periods of the year.
Also, private beaches such as those along the shores, may belong to
the neighborhood association nearby. Signs are usually posted the
entrance. A permit or special use occasion event may be granted upon
executing the proper channels to legally obtain one.
Public access to beaches is protected by law in the U.S. State of
Oregon, thanks to a 1967 state law, the Oregon
Beach Bill, which
guaranteed public access from the Columbia River to the California
state line, "so that the public may have the free and uninterrupted
Quartz sand particles and shell fragments from a beach. The primary
component of typical beach sand is quartz, or silica (SiO2).
Sand and shingle is scoured, graded and moved around by the action of
waves and currents
Beaches are the result of wave action by which waves or currents move
sand or other loose sediments of which the beach is made as these
particles are held in suspension. Alternatively, sand may be moved by
saltation (a bouncing movement of large particles).
come from erosion of rocks offshore, as well as from headland erosion
and slumping producing deposits of scree. A coral reef offshore is a
significant source of sand particles. Some species of fish that feed
on algae attached to coral outcrops and rocks can create substantial
quantities of sand particles over their lifetime as they nibble during
feeding, digesting the organic matter, and discarding the rock and
coral particles which pass through their digestive tracts.
The composition of the beach depends upon the nature and quantity of
sediments upstream of the beach, and the speed of flow and turbidity
of water and wind.
Sediments are moved by moving water and wind
according to their particle size and state of compaction. Particles
tend to settle and compact in still water. Once compacted, they are
more resistant to erosion. Established vegetation (especially species
with complex network root systems) will resist erosion by slowing the
fluid flow at the surface layer. When affected by moving water or
wind, particles that are eroded and held in suspension will increase
the erosive power of the fluid that holds them by increasing the
average density, viscosity and volume of the moving fluid.
Coastlines facing very energetic wind and wave systems will tend to
hold only large rocks as smaller particles will be held in suspension
in the turbid water column and carried to calmer areas by longshore
currents and tides. Coastlines that are protected from waves and winds
will tend to allow finer sediments such as clay and mud to precipitate
creating mud flats and mangrove forests. The shape of a beach depends
on whether the waves are constructive or destructive, and whether the
material is sand or shingle. Waves are constructive if the period
between their wave crests is long enough for the breaking water to
recede and the sediment to settle before the succeeding wave arrives
Fine sediment transported from lower down the beach profile will
compact if the receding water percolates or soaks into the beach.
Compacted sediment is more resistant to movement by turbulent water
from succeeding waves. Conversely, waves are destructive if the period
between the wave crests is short.
Sediment that remains in suspension
when the following wave crest arrives will not be able to settle and
compact and will be more susceptible to erosion by longshore currents
and receding tides. The nature of sediments found on a beach tends to
indicate the energy of the waves and wind in the locality.
Constructive waves move material up the beach while destructive waves
move the material down the beach. During seasons when destructive
waves are prevalent, the shallows will carry an increased load of
sediment and organic matter in suspension. On sandy beaches, the
turbulent backwash of destructive waves removes material forming a
gently sloping beach. On pebble and shingle beaches the swash is
dissipated more quickly because the large particle size allows greater
percolation, thereby reducing the power of the backwash, and the beach
remains steep. Compacted fine sediments will form a smooth beach
surface that resists wind and water erosion.
During hot calm seasons, a crust may form on the surface of ocean
beaches as the heat of the sun evaporates the water leaving the salt
which crystallises around the sand particles. This crust forms an
additional protective layer that resists wind erosion unless disturbed
by animals, or dissolved by the advancing tide. Cusps and horns form
where incoming waves divide, depositing sand as horns and scouring out
sand to form cusps. This forms the uneven face on some sand
shorelines. White sand beaches look white because the quartz or eroded
limestone in the sand reflects or scatters sunlight without absorbing
The composition of the sand may vary depending on the local minerals
and geology. Some of the types of sand that can be found in beaches
around the world are:
White sand: Mostly made of quartz and limestone, it can also contain
bits of other minerals like feldspar. 
Light-colored sand: This sand gets its color from quartz and iron and
it's common in Southern Europe. 
Tropical white sand: On tropical islands, the sand is composed of
calcium carbonate from the shells and skeletons of marine organisms,
like corals and mollusks.
Pink coral sand: Like the above, is composed of calcium carbonate and
gets its pink hue from fragments of coral. Bermuda's beaches
are famous for this type of sand.
Black sand: Black sand is composed of volcanic rock, like basalt and
obsidian, which give it its gray-black color. Hawaii's Punaluu
Beach and Fuerteventura's
Ajuy beach are examples of this type of
Green sand: In this kind of sand, the mineral olivine has been
separated from other volcanic fragments by erosive forces. A
famous example is Hawaii's Papakolea Beach, whose sand also contains
basalt and coral fragments.
Types of beach sand
Fine, white sand made up of pure quartz in Hyams Beach, New South
Light-colored sand in
Castelldefels beach, Spain.
One of Bermuda's pink-sand beaches at Astwood Park.
Punaluu Beach's black sand.
Ajuy's beach black sand.
Close view of Papakolea Beach's green sand.
Beach erosion and accretion
Natural erosion and accretion
A sandspit can form if a beach suddenly changes direction
Hidden beach in southern Croatia
Playing in the surf is a favourite activity for many people
Beach in the
Galápagos Islands reserved for marine animals
The world's most photographed beach: Anse Source d'Argent, La Digue,
Maldives dream beaches
Beaches are changed in shape chiefly by the movement of water and
wind. Any weather event that is associated with turbid or fast flowing
water, or high winds will erode exposed beaches. Longshore currents
will tend to replenish beach sediments and repair storm damage. Tidal
waterways generally change the shape of their adjacent beaches by
small degrees with every tidal cycle. Over time these changes can
become substantial leading to significant changes in the size and
location of the beach.
Effects on flora
Changes in the shape of the beach may undermine the roots of large
trees and other flora. Many beach adapted species (such as coconut
palms) have a fine root system and large root ball which tends to
withstand wave and wind action and tends to stabilize beaches better
than other trees with a lesser root ball.
Effects on adjacent land
Erosion of beaches can expose less resilient soils and rocks to wind
and wave action leading to undermining of coastal headlands eventually
resulting in catastrophic collapse of large quantities of overburden
into the shallows. This material may be distributed along the beach
front leading to a change in the habitat as sea grasses and corals in
the shallows may be buried or deprived of light and nutrients.
Manmade erosion and accretion
Coastal areas settled by man inevitably become subject to the effects
of man-made structures and processes. Over long periods of time these
influences may substantially alter the shape of the coastline, and the
character of the beach.
Destruction of flora
Beach front flora plays a major role in stabilizing the foredunes and
preventing beach head erosion and inland movement of dunes. If flora
with network root systems (creepers, grasses and palms) are able to
become established, they provide an effective coastal defense as they
trap sand particles and rainwater and enrich the surface layer of the
dunes, allowing other plant species to become established. They also
protect the berm from erosion by high winds, freak waves and subsiding
Over long periods of time, well stabilized foreshore areas will tend
to accrete, while unstabilized foreshores will tend to erode, leading
to substantial changes in the shape of the coastline. These changes
usually occur over periods of many years. Freak wave events such as
tsunami, tidal waves, and storm surges may substantially alter the
shape, profile and location of a beach within hours.
Destruction of flora on the berm by the use of herbicides, excessive
pedestrian or vehicle traffic, or disruption to fresh water flows may
lead to erosion of the berm and dunes. While the destruction of flora
may be a gradual process that is imperceptible to regular beach users,
it often becomes immediately apparent after storms associated with
high winds and freak wave events that can rapidly move large volumes
of exposed and unstable sand, depositing them further inland, or
carrying them out into the permanent water forming offshore bars,
lagoons or increasing the area of the beach exposed at low tide. Large
and rapid movements of exposed sand can bury and smother flora in
adjacent areas, aggravating the loss of habitat for fauna, and
enlarging the area of instability. If there is an adequate supply of
sand, and weather conditions do not allow vegetation to recover and
stabilize the sediment, wind-blown sand can continue to advance,
engulfing and permanently altering downwind landscapes.
Sediment moved by waves or receding flood waters can be deposited in
coastal shallows, engulfing reed beds and changing the character of
underwater flora and fauna in the coastal shallows.
Burning or clearance of vegetation on the land adjacent to the beach
head, for farming and residential development, changes the surface
wind patterns, and exposes the surface of the beach to wind erosion.
Farming and residential development are also commonly associated with
changes in local surface water flows. If these flows are concentrated
in storm water drains emptying onto the beach head, they may erode the
beach creating a lagoon or delta.
Dense vegetation tends to absorb rainfall reducing the speed of runoff
and releasing it over longer periods of time. Destruction by burning
or clearance of the natural vegetation tends to increase the speed and
erosive power of runoff from rainfall. This runoff will tend to carry
more silt and organic matter from the land onto the beach and into the
sea. If the flow is constant, runoff from cleared land arriving at the
beach head will tend to deposit this material into the sand changing
its color, odor and fauna.
Creation of beach access points
The concentration of pedestrian and vehicular traffic accessing the
beach for recreational purposes may cause increased erosion at the
access points if measures are not taken to stabilize the beach surface
above high-water mark. Recognition of the dangers of loss of beach
front flora has caused many local authorities responsible for managing
coastal areas to restrict beach access points by physical structures
or legal sanctions, and fence off foredunes in an effort to protect
the flora. These measures are often associated with the construction
of structures at these access points to allow traffic to pass over or
through the dunes without causing further damage.
Concentration of runoff
Beaches provide a filter for runoff from the coastal plain. If the
runoff is naturally dispersed along the beach, water borne silt and
organic matter will be retained on the land and will feed the flora in
the coastal area. Runoff that is dispersed along the beach will tend
to percolate through the beach and may emerge from the beach at low
The retention of the fresh water may also help to maintain underground
water reserves and will resist salt water incursion. If the surface
flow of the runoff is diverted and concentrated by drains that create
constant flows over the beach above the sea or river level, the beach
will be eroded and ultimately form an inlet unless longshore flows
deposit sediments to repair the breach.
Once eroded, an inlet may allow tidal inflows of salt water to pollute
areas inland from the beach and may also affect the quality of
underground water supplies and the height of the water table.
Deprivation of runoff
Some flora naturally occurring on the beach head requires fresh water
runoff from the land. Diversion of fresh water runoff into drains may
deprive these plants of their water supplies and allow sea water
incursion, increasing the saltiness of the ground water. Species that
are not able to survive in salt water may die and be replaced by
mangroves or other species adapted to salty environments.
Inappropriate beach nourishment
Beach nourishment is the importing and deposition of sand or other
sediments in an effort to restore a beach that has been damaged by
Beach nourishment often involves excavation of sediments from
riverbeds or sand quarries. This excavated sediment may be
substantially different in size and appearance to the naturally
occurring beach sand.
In extreme cases, beach nourishment may involve placement of large
pebbles or rocks in an effort to permanently restore a shoreline
subject to constant erosion and loss of foreshore. This is often
required where the flow of new sediment caused by the longshore
current has been disrupted by construction of harbors, breakwaters,
causeways or boat ramps, creating new current flows that scour the
sand from behind these structures, and deprive the beach of
restorative sediments. If the causes of the erosion are not addressed,
beach nourishment can become a necessary and permanent feature of
During beach nourishment activities, care must be taken to place new
sediments so that the new sediments compact and stabilize before
aggressive wave or wind action can erode them. Material that is
concentrated too far down the beach may form a temporary groyne that
will encourage scouring behind it.
Sediments that are too fine or too
light may be eroded before they have compacted or been integrated into
the established vegetation. Foreign unwashed sediments may introduce
flora or fauna that are not usually found in that locality.
Brighton Beach, on the south coast of England, is a shingle beach that
has been nourished with very large pebbles in an effort to withstand
erosion of the upper area of the beach. These large pebbles made the
beach unwelcoming for pedestrians for a period of time until natural
processes integrated the naturally occurring shingle into the pebble
Beach access design
A beach access path
Beach access is an important consideration where substantial numbers
of pedestrians or vehicles require access to the beach. Allowing
random access across delicate foredunes is seldom considered good
practice as it is likely to lead to destruction of flora and
consequent erosion of the fore dunes.
A well designed beach access should:
provide a durable surface able to withstand the traffic flow;
aesthetically complement the surrounding structures and natural
be located in an area that is convenient for users and consistent with
safe traffic flows;
be scaled to match the traffic flow (i.e. wide and strong enough to
safely carry the size and quantity of pedestrians and vehicles
intended to use it);
be maintained appropriately; and
be signed and lit to discourage beach users from creating their own
alternative crossings that may be more destructive to the beachhead.
Concrete ramp or steps
A concrete ramp should follow the natural profile of the beach to
prevent it from changing the normal flow of waves, longshore currents,
water and wind. A ramp that is below the beach profile will tend to
become buried and cease to provide a good surface for vehicular
traffic. A ramp or stair that protrudes above the beach profile will
tend to disrupt longshore currents creating deposits in front of the
ramp, and scouring behind. Concrete ramps are the most expensive
vehicular beach accesses to construct requiring use of a quick drying
concrete or a coffer dam to protect them from tidal water during the
concrete curing process. Concrete is favored where traffic flows are
heavy and access is required by vehicles that are not adapted to soft
sand (e.g. road registered passenger vehicles and boat trailers).
Concrete stairs are commonly favored on beaches adjacent to population
centers where beach users may arrive on the beach in street shoes, or
where the foreshore roadway is substantially higher than the beach
head and a ramp would be too steep for safe use by pedestrians. A
composite stair ramp may incorporate a central or side stair with one
or more ramps allowing pedestrians to lead buggies or small boat
dollies onto the beach without the aid of a powered vehicle or winch.
Concrete ramps and steps should be maintained to prevent buildup of
moss or algae that may make their wet surfaces slippery and dangerous
to pedestrians and vehicles.
Corduroy (beach ladder)
A corduroy or beach ladder (or board and chain) is an array of planks
(usually hardwood or treated timber) laid close together and
perpendicular to the direction of traffic flow, and secured at each
end by a chain or cable to form a pathway or ramp over the sand dune.
Corduroys are cheap and easy to construct and quick to deploy or
relocate. They are commonly used for pedestrian access paths and light
duty vehicular access ways. They naturally conform to the shape of the
underlying beach or dune profile, and adjust well to moderate erosion,
especially longshore drift. However, they can cease to be an effective
access surface if they become buried or undermined by erosion by
surface runoff coming from the beach head. If the corduroy is not wide
enough for vehicles using it, the sediment on either side may be
displaced creating a spoon drain that accelerates surface run off and
can quickly lead to serious erosion. Significant erosion of the
sediment beside and under the corduroy can render it completely
ineffective and make it dangerous to pedestrian users who may fall
between the planks.
Fabric ramps are commonly employed by the military for temporary
purposes where the underlying sediment is stable and hard enough to
support the weight of the traffic. A sheet of porous fabric is laid
over the sand to stabilize the surface and prevent vehicles from
bogging. Fabric Ramps usually cease to be useful after one tidal cycle
as they are easily washed away, or buried in sediment.
A foliage ramp is formed by planting resilient species of hardy plants
such as grasses over a well formed sediment ramp. The plants may be
supported while they become established by placement of layers of
mesh, netting, or coarse organic material such as vines or branches.
This type of ramp is ideally suited for intermittent use by vehicles
with a low wheel loading such as dune buggies or agricultural vehicles
with large tyres. A foliage ramp should require minimal maintenance if
initially formed to follow the beach profile, and not overused.
A gravel ramp is formed by excavating the underlying loose sediment
and filling the excavation with layers of gravel of graduated sizes as
defined by John Loudon McAdam. The gravel is compacted to form a solid
surface according to the needs of the traffic.
Gravel ramps are less
expensive to construct than concrete ramps and are able to carry heavy
road traffic provided the excavation is deep enough to reach solid
Gravel ramps are subject to erosion by water. If the edges
are retained with boards or walls and the profile matches the
surrounding beach profile, a gravel ramp may become more stable as
finer sediments are deposited by percolating water.
Amongst the world's longest beaches are:
Eighty Mile Beach
Eighty Mile Beach (220 kilometres [140 mi]) in north-west
Praia do Cassino
Praia do Cassino (212 kilometres [132 mi]) in Brazil;
Ninety Mile Beach, Victoria
Ninety Mile Beach, Victoria (151 kilometres [94 mi]) in Victoria,
Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh (125 kilometres [78 mi] unbroken);
Beach in New Zealand (88 kilometres [55 mi]);
Fraser Island beach (about 65 kilometres [40 mi]) in Queensland,
Beach (63 kilometres [39 mi]) in Portugal;
the Jersey Shore, 204 km/127 miles; and
Long Beach, Washington
Long Beach, Washington (which is about 40 kilometres [25 mi]).
Padre Island beach (about 182 kilometres [113 mi]) in Gulf of
Playa Novillera beach (about 90 kilometres [56 mi]) in Mexico.
Main article: Seashore wildlife
Kemp's ridley sea turtle
Kemp's ridley sea turtle nesting on the berm section of the beach,
beyond can be seen plant debris in the wrack line.
A beach is an unstable environment that exposes plants and animals to
changeable and potentially harsh conditions. Some animals burrow into
the sand and feed on material deposited by the waves. Crabs, insects
and shorebirds feed on these beach dwellers. The endangered piping
plover and some tern species rely on beaches for nesting. Sea turtles
also bury their eggs in ocean beaches. Seagrasses and other beach
plants grow on undisturbed areas of the beach and dunes.
Ocean beaches are habitats with organisms adapted to salt spray, tidal
overwash, and shifting sands. Some of these organisms are found only
on beaches. Examples of these beach organisms in the southeast US
include plants like sea oats, sea rocket, beach elder, beach morning
glory (Ipomoea pes-caprae), and beach peanut, and animals such as mole
crabs (Hippoidea), coquina clams (Donax), ghost crabs, and white beach
List of beaches
Sand art and play
Beach Nourishment Project". Queensland government.
Retrieved 24 January 2018.
^ a b Blair and Dawn Witherington (2007), Florida's Living Beaches, A
Guide for the Curious Beachcomber, (Pineapple Press)
^ a b J. Christopher Holloway; Neil Taylor (2006). The business of
tourism. Pearson Education. p. 29. ISBN 0-273-70161-4.
Blackpool History" (PDF).
Blackpool Tourist Office. Archived from
the original (PDF) on 2007-07-05. Retrieved 2007-03-18.
^ Andrews et al. 2002, p. 597.
^ John K. Walton. "The seaside resort: a British cultural export".
Department of Humanities, University of Central Lancashire.
^ Michael Nelson, Queen Victoria and the Discovery of the Riviera,
Tauris Parke Paperbacks, 2007.
^ "?". City of Evanston. Archived from the original on 2 May 2008.
Retrieved 13 September 2010.
^ "?". City of Evanston. Archived from the original on 4 August 2008.
Retrieved 13 September 2010.
^ Amodio, Aimee. What are
Beach Tags, visitnjshore.com.
Beach Bill, Oregon Coast". theoregoncoast.info. Retrieved
December 13, 2015.
^ a b c d "What Is Sand?". Livescience. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
^ a b c "About Different Types of Sand". Sciencing. Retrieved 28 March
^ a b c "Sand". Geology.com. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
Bascom, W. 1980. Waves and Beaches. Anchor Press/Doubleday, Garden
City, New York. 366 p.
Schwartz, Maurice L. (1982). The Encyclopedia of Beaches and Coastal
Environments: Volume 15 of Encyclopedia of earth sciences. Virginia:
Hutchinson Ross Pub. Co. p. 940. ISBN 0879332131.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Beaches.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Beaches.
Look up beach in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Coping with beach erosion – UNESCO
Headlands and bays
Large-scale coastal behaviour
Integrated coastal zone management
Region of freshwater influence