TRACING COASTAL SEDIMENT MOVEMENT BY NATURALLY RADIOACTIVE MINERALS

A.M. Kamel, J.W. Johnson

Abstract


The process by which sediments are moved along the shore is known as littoral drift and it includes beach drifting and longshore drift (Johnson, 1919). Coarse material is moved along a foreshore in zig-zag paths under the influence of swash and backwash of the waves. The process of longshore drift is due to longshore currents set up within the breaker zone by breaking waves approaching the shoreline at an angle. Although the waves tend to become parallel to the coast as a result of refraction, they usually break at a slight angle to the shore with the result that a littoral current is induced and is effective in moving a mass of water (and the sediment placed in suspension by the breaking waves) slowly along the coast. It is this current combined with the agitating action of the breaking waves, that is the primary factor in causing movement of sand along a coastline. It is believed that the largest percentage of the littoral transport occurs shoreward of the breaking point of the waves .

Keywords


sediment transport; tracing sediment movement; radioactive materials

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