Coastal Environments

the variety of species in an ecosystem
an organic community of plants and animals interacting with their environment
Hard engineering
the use of concrete and large artificial structures by civil engineers to defend land against natural erosion processes
Longshore drift
the movement of loose materials along a coastline by wave action because they break at an oblique angle to shore
Sea level change
the rise or fall in the average level of the sea over long periods of time. This acts as a base level for natural erosion
Sub-aerial processes
the general re-shaping of the land by normal atmospheric processes, for example wind and rain. It includes weathering, mass movement and deposition.
Wave-cut platform
a rocky, level area at around sea level representing the base of old and now retreated cliffs

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