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Nature's Sandcastles



Nature's Sandcastles
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.77

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    backswash, baymouth, tombolo, receding, sandcastle, emergent, formation, swash, sculpt, sandcastles, unstable, wherever, especially, harmful, shoreline, mainland


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Nature's Sandcastles
By Patti Hutchison
  

1     Have you ever built a sandcastle? You scoop up the wet sand, build it up in another spot, and form it into an interesting shape. Nature also builds sandcastles. It uses wave action to sculpt the shoreline.
 
2     Coastlines are either emergent or depositional. Emergent coastlines are eroded by wave action. The backswash, or the receding waves, take pieces of land with them as they move back towards the ocean. The rocky coast of the western U. S. is an example of an emergent coastline.
 
3     Depositional coastlines have beaches. Beaches are deposits of minerals. They are brought in by the swash. This is the wave action that moves toward the beach. Minerals, coral, and shell fragments are deposited by the waves. The eastern coast of the U. S. has a depositional shoreline.
 
4     If you were to look at a beach from an airplane, some parts of it may have an unusual shape. This is called beach drift. Waves reach the shoreline at an angle. The sediments are deposited in a zigzag pattern.
 
5     Because of wave action, beaches are constantly changing. The land is eroded by the waves. It is deposited wherever the currents and waves slow down. The deposits build up over time and can rise above sea level. They create some interesting forms. Some of them have unusual names.

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