Thursday, May 21, 2009


A beach is a geological land form along the shoreline of a body of water. It usually consists of loose particles which are often composed of rock, such as sand, gravel, shingle, pebbles, or cobble. The particles of which the beach is composed can sometimes instead have biological origins, such as shell fragments or coralline algae fragments.

Beaches often occur along coastal areas, where wave or current action deposits and reworks sediments.

Although the seashore is most commonly associated with the word "beach", beaches are not only found by the sea or ocean: beaches also occur at the margin of the land along lakes and rivers where sediments are reworked or deposited.

The term 'beach' may refer to:
small systems in which the 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.

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