Coastal Zones

  • Backshore: area between high water mark and landward limit of marine activity – changes here take place during storm activity
  • Foreshore: area between high water mark and low water mark – most important zone for marine processes in times not influenced by storm activity
  • Inshore: area between low water mark and point where waves stop having influence on land between them
  • Offshore: area beyond point where waves stop impacting seabed – activity is limited to deposition of sediment
  • Nearshore: area extending seaward from high water mark to area that waves start to break – includes the following:
    • Swash zone: area where turbulent layer of water washes up beach after a wave breaks
    • Surf zone: area between point where waves break and where waves move up beach as swash in swash zone
    • Breaker zone: area where waves approaching coastline start breaking – water depth is usually 5-10m