Sources of Energy – Wind

Wind is a very important source of energy and is a primary source for other processes within the coastal system. It is an important agent for erosion and transportation. Various factors of a coastal system can be influenced by the wind:

  • Longshore drift
  • Strength of waves – how much erosion/deposition can occur
  • Wind erosion
  • Direction of waves – prevailing wind
  • Abrasion – wind picks up material from beach and wears away landscape features
  • Wind speed – if it is persistently high and uninterrupted, wave energy is more likely to be high so have more erosive power on the coastline
  • Wave formation – transfer of energy from wind blowing over the sea surface – called frictional drag
  • Fetch – distance of open water over which wind blows uninterrupted – length of fetch influences magnitude and energy of waves reaching the coast