You are here: AQA GCSE Geography PLCs > Coasts > C9 Example Answer

Explain the formation of a spit / bar / beach /sand dune.

The command is “explain”, so your answer should provide a reasoned account of how coastal processes lead to the formation of the landform.

Example – Spit

A spit is a sand or shingle beach that is joined to the land but projects out (downdrift) into the sea. Longshore drift transports sand along the coast. The direction of the prevailing wind determines the direction of LSD. Spits form where the coastline suddenly changes shape or at the mouth of an estuary. Sand or shingle builds up in the sheltered lee side of the headland. This will continue to build up. Finer material is carried out into the deeper water of the estuary and is deposited as the water loses its capacity to transport it any further. A spit will continue to grow until the water becomes too deep or until the material is removed faster than it is deposited. The end of the spit may begin to curve round as wave refraction carries material round into the more sheltered water. Wind and waves may also push the spit material back towards the mainland. The spit will not grow across the estuary as the material is carried seaward by the river.

C9 AO mark scheme

AO1 – 2 marks

AO2 – 2 marks

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