A beach is a landform that is located close to a body of water.
Some beaches are located by rivers, while others are found by the coastline, oceans, lakes, and seas.
Beaches are made up of tiny rock particles, sand, and other types of tiny rocks and shells.
How Are Beaches Made?
Beaches are made by the waves or even by water currents.
Water current is water inside the ocean that goes from one place to the next place.
These water currents are made when the wind speed changes and when the temperature of the air and water change.
Current is what causes the water in the ocean to move around and around.
How is Sand Formed?
Sand is tiny rock particles that have been eroded.
When something is eroded it means that it is broken down into smaller pieces. Sand is made when the water rushes against rocks, pebbles, gravel, shingle, cobblestones, and even shells.
When this happens those rocks or shells break down to smaller and smaller pieces.
That is why you can see the sand that is very fine. This proves that a lot of erosion has taken place in that area.
Coral reefs help to make sand because there are so many coral reefs found in the ocean.
When coral reefs become eroded or die, they break down and they get smaller and smaller until they are as small as sand.
A tide is what helps to determine how the water at the beach will move. Tide is water that forms into humps and they move around.
The tides change based on what the sun and the moon are doing. Tides are formed by the gravity that the sun and moon cause.
Tides are attracted to gravity and as they move towards gravity, they move around and around the ocean.
- High tide-This means that the water is rising in the ocean.
- Low tide-This means that the water is falling in the ocean.
Most tides go on a six-hour cycle so it means that the tide can be high for six hours and then low for six hours.
Waves happen when the wind moves across the water surface. The water molecules and the air molecules meet, and it causes friction. Friction is when motion is resistant when two things rub together.
When there is friction, the water molecules make energy, and this causes the waves to come.
Scientists define waves as an energy that is transferred.
When there is a wave in the ocean, it is called a mechanical wave because it travels through the water to move.
The water does not move with the wave, the water only moves up and down because of the energy.
When a wave goes a long distance through the ocean and is caused by storms, these waves are called swells.
A swell is measured by the top of the crest of the wave to the bottom of the trough of the wave. A swell is usually a smooth wave.
Where Are Most Beaches Found?
When you go to the coast such as the ocean, you will see a beach there.
The beaches are formed because the water from the ocean is continuously moving and the tides are always rising and falling. When this happens, the beaches are formed.
Some beautiful beaches are on our coastline and offer scenic views with Clearwater, cliffs, and coves.
We use them for recreational purposes, and we are attracted by the beautiful white sand beaches and clearwater. You will find marinas with boats and many people involved in different water activities.
Surrounding beaches, you can find different types of rock formations, caves, and incredible marine life.
What Are Sandy Beaches Made Of?
Most beaches that are mostly sand are made up of silica.
Silica is a form of quartz which is a mineral. The formula for silica is Si02.
Why Are Sandy Beaches Different Colors?
Some sandy beaches have brown sand while other beaches are full of white sand and you even find a black sand beach (like the image above).
The reason that this happens is that there are different types of rock sediments that are found at different beaches.
When lava falls into water, it cools quickly and is pounded into sand over time. If enough volcanic rock falls into the water, it can produce a black sand beach.
Some of these color sediments can be:
Different Size Sediments
All beaches have different sizes of sediments.
When you want to know what kind of wave and wind energy that the beach has, looking at the size of the sediment can help.
When a shoreline is protected by a fence or a barrier, most of the sediments are smaller because the wind and the waves do not take away the small sediments.
When a shoreline is unprotected, the beach will have larger sediments and the smaller sediments are swept back into the water.
When a beach is steep, it means that there is a big chance that the waves are very high or that the wind is very strong. This means that the waves move in and out of the shoreline in a stronger way and they cause the slope to be bigger by wearing away the shoreline.
A beach that has a smaller slope means that the waves go to the shore quickly, but they go back out into the ocean slower and they leave material on top.
Different Kinds of Beaches
- Cusps-when there is a beach cusp, it means that the surface of the sand looks like it is wavy, and it forms the sand into an arc shape.
- Berm-the beach berm is sand that looks like a land terrace. This is narrow and has a steep slope. The slope looks toward the ocean and it has a short slope towards the land. When you see a beach berm, it tells you that the beach is always gaining deposits of sand.
- Wild beach-A wild beach is a beach that is not disturbed by people with houses, shops, resorts, hotels, restaurants, or any other businesses.
- Recreational beaches-Recreational beaches are beaches that people go and visit. Most recreational beaches have clear blue water and are found on resorts and people will do lots of different water sports like swim, build sandcastles, surfing, wind sail, ride boats, snorkeling, scuba diving, and more.
Animals Found at Beaches:
Since there are different types of beaches such as river beaches, lake beaches, and ocean beaches, animals and marine life found in the different areas can be different.
Here are some animals that are found on the beaches:
- Piping Plover
- Hermit Crabs
- Sea Turtles
- Loggerhead Sea Turtles
- Calcareous Oozes
- Silliceous Ooozes
Birds are very known to live on and close to beaches. At the beach, the birds are able to reproduce, and they use the sand, rocks, and plants to make their homes and to lay their eggs. Birds are very important to the beach environment.
Animals such as the crab help to keep the beach clean from things such as worms, algae, fungi, mollusks, and more. They go into the water, but most crabs live entirely on the sand.
Sea turtles are found in every ocean in the entire world except the Arctic Ocean but there are only seven different species of sea turtles. The sea turtles use the beach to help them nest and to lay their eggs. If the sea turtle did not have the beach to lay their eggs on, then they would become extinct.
Seals use the beaches so that they can have babies, feed, and help protect them from things such as sharks.
Microfossils such as the Calcareous oozes are found all over the beach. There are so many of them and they have lived on the beaches for millions of years. Many of the microfossils include amoeba and other hard-shelled organisms.
Insects on the Beach
The beach has many insects and worms that grow and live on the beach.
Some of these include:
- Northeastern Beach Tiger Beetle
- Beach Hoppers
- Kelp Flies
- Rover Beetles
- Blood Worms
Plants of the Beach
Plants play a very important role in the ecosystem of the beach and can add to the breathtaking view.
Plants are the first forms of life that lived on the beach.
They grow their roots deep into the ground and they help the beach by:
- Giving the beach shape
- Being a habitat for animals
- Providing materials to animals to build their homes
- Area primary food source
Some of the plants include seagrasses, palm trees, mosses, and more.
Beach Facts for Kids:
- Seaside beaches are really popular on warm sunny days.
- They can change in shape primarily by the movement of wind and water.
- The tallest sandcastle that was ever built was built in Connecticut.
- In Brazil is the longest beach is called the Praia do Cassino.
- A recreational beach that has a blue flag means that the water is safe to swim in.
- Sea turtles lay their eggs on beaches. On average, they lay 100 eggs.
- In the 18thcentury, people begin to love going to the beach. Recreational beaches became popular then.
- The largest sand island in the world is located in Queensland, Australia, and the beach is called Fraser Island.
- Most beaches are not the best places for most animals to live because the environment is always changing.
- Ocean currents can help ships to travel or cause them not to be able to travel depending on which direction they are moving.
What Did You Learn?
- What is a beach?
A beach is an area of land that is formed from the way that water and waves move back and forth into the ocean, lake, or river.
- What is a beach made of?
A beach is made up of sand.
- What is sand?
Sand is tiny particles of rock that have been eroded from the water.
- What are some parts of the water called?
A wave is how water moves up and down, a swell is a wave that is formed from a storm, a current is how water moves around the ocean and tide is formed from the gravity caused by the moon and the sun.
- Are there different types of beaches?
Yes. There are different types of beaches. Some beaches are recreational beaches where people swim and do water activities and some beaches are Wild Beaches where people and businesses are not there.
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