Glossary of Terms

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A fine grained, plastic, sediment with a typical grain size less than 0.004 mm. Possesses electromagnetic properties which bind the grains together to give a bulk strength or cohesion.

The characteristic weather of a region, particularly regarding temperature and precipitation, averaged over some significant internal of time (years).

A strip of land of indefinite width (may be several kilometers) that extends from the shoreline inland to the first major change in terrain features. The part of a country regarded as near the coast.

The land and sea area bordering the shoreline. An entity of land and water affected by the biological and physical processes of both the sea and land and defined broadly for the purpose of managing the use of natural resources.

Those currents which flow roughly parallel to the shore and constitute a relatively uniform drift in the deeper water adjacent to the surf zone. These currents may be tidal currents, transient, wind-driven currents, or currents associated with the distribution of mass in local waters.

For navigational purposes, the term is used to designate a current in coastwise shipping lanes where the tidal current is frequently rotary.

General term used to encompass both coast protection against erosion and sea defense against flooding.

Dunes within the coastal upland, immediately landward of the active beach.

The wearing away of coastal lands, usually by wave attack, tidal or littoral currents, or wind. Coastal erosion is synonymous with shoreline (vegetation line) retreat.

The low-lying, gently-sloping area landward of the beach often containing fossil sands deposited during previously higher sea levels.

Collective term covering the action of natural forces on the shoreline, and near shore seabed.

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