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The classic atlas 'picture' of the British Isles is etched upon the mind from early schooldays but is not as it would have appeared a few million years ago.
Much erosion has taken place, indeed the British Isles were once connected to the European mainland.
Longshore Drift is the movement of material along a beach.
When a wave breaks obliquely, pebbles are carried up the beach in the direction of the wave (swash).
Many stretches of coastline are so severely affected by erosion that beaches are swept away, threatening the livelihood of seaside resorts, and buildings become unsafe.
To reduce erosion, several different forms of coastal protection may be employed.
Places to visit The Coastline around the UK stretches for some 6,000 miles - a coast of contrasts as the scenery changes from Estuaries, Shingle beaches, Salt Marshes, Sand Dunes, Rugged Cliffs, Sandy Beaches and Rocky Shores to Industrial Harbours and Oil Refineries.
The Flat Green pastures of the Severn Estuary do not inspire the awe of the rocky Cornish coast or the majestic Scottish Islands or indeed the feelings of Englishness at seeing the White Cliffs of Dover but has much beauty nevertheless.
In 1996, it was reported that 29 villages had disappeared from the Yorkshire coast since 1926 as a result of tidal battering.
Beach erosion can occur due to the construction of artificial barriers, such as groynes, or due to the natural periodicity of the beach cycle, whereby high tides and the high waves of winter storms tend to carry sand away from the beach and deposit it offshore in the form of bars.
During the calmer summer season some of this sand is redeposited on the beach.
Frost shattering (or freeze-thaw), caused by the expansion of frozen sea water in cavities, and biological weathering, caused by the burrowing of rock-boring molluscs, also result in the breakdown of the coastal rock.
Where resistant rocks form headlands, the sea erodes the coast in successive stages.The air expands explosively, breaking the rocks apart.Rocks and pebbles flung by waves against the cliff face wear it away by the process of corrasion.A band of white chalk running between younger and older rock formations can clearly be seen showing where Old Harry Rocks on the mainland were joined to the Needles on the Isle of Wight.