Glossary of Terms
The direction toward which the wind is blowing; The direction toward which waves are travelling.
Of or pertaining to a shore, especially of the sea. Often used as a general term for the coastal zone influenced by wave action, or, more specifically, the shore zone between the high and low water marks.
The sediment budget of the beach consisting of sources and sinks.
A reach of the coast that is isolated sedimentologically from adjacent coastal reaches and that features its own sources and sinks. Isolation is typically caused by protruding headlands, submarine canyons, inlets, and some river mouths that prevent littoral sediment from one cell to pass into the next.
The geographical system subject to frequent or infrequent beach processes. The littoral system is the area from the landward edge of the coastal upland to the seaward edge of the nearshore zone.
The movement of beach material in the littoral zone by waves and currents. Includes movement parallel (longshore drift) and sometimes perpendicular (cross-shore transport) to the shore; Also referred to as littoral drift.
The rate of transport of sedimentary material parallel or perpendicular to the shore in the littoral zone. Usually expressed in cubic metres (cubic yards) per year. Commonly synonymous with longshore transport rate.
In beach terminology, an indefinite zone extending seaward from the shoreline to just beyond the breaker zone.
Parallel to and near the shoreline; Also referred to as alongshore.
Movement of (beach) sediments approximately parallel to the coastline.