Beach Facts



  • Beaches are sloping bands of sand, shingle or pebbles along the edge of a sea or lake.
  • Some beaches are made entirely of broken coral or shells.
  • On a steep beach, the backwash after each wave is strong. It washes material down the beach and so makes the beach gentler sloping.
  • On a gently sloping beach, each wave runs in powerfully and falls back gently. Material gets washed up the beach, making it steeper.
  • The world’s largest pleasure beach is Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA, over 45 km long.
  • Waves crashing against the shore can weaken cliffs and cause some to fall into the sea.
  • The little bays in this beach have been scooped out as waves strike the beach at an angle.
  • The slope of a beach matches the waves, so the slope is often gentler in winter when the waves are stronger.
  • A storm beach is a ridge of gravel and pebbles flung high above the normal high-tide mark during a storm.
  • At the top of each beach a ridge, or berm, is often left at the high-tide mark.
  • Beach cusps are tiny bays in the sand that are scooped out along the beach when waves strike it at an angle.
  • Many scientists believe that beaches are only a temporary phenomenon caused by the changes in sea levels after the last Ice Age.