Raised Beach

Raised Beach

Raised Beach Landforms Have 2 Main Characteristics:

  1. A beach raised above the shoreline
  2. Above the waters at high tide

Example of a Raised Beach Landform:
Ballyhillin Beach, Ireland
A raised beach picture on the Coast of Santander, Cantabria, Spain

What is a Raised Beach Landform?

A raised beach is a beach at a level above the shoreline, not reachable by waters at high tide. A raised beach is sometimes called a marine terrace.

How are Raised Beaches Formed?

A raised beach is formed by wave action when it is close to the waterline. During a later period, a change in sea level or an uplift of the land can put it beyond the water’s reach.

How Large is a Raised Beach?

A raised beach can be as large as a regular beach. Often, vegetation has covered the area, or erosion from wind and rain has removed sand from the raised beach.

Where Can a Raised Beach Be Found?

Raised beaches are found along many coastlines all around the world. This may indicate that sea levels were higher sometime in the past.

Famous Raised Beaches and Facts

• Ballyhillin Beach, Ireland
• Cantabrian Coast, Spain
• Islay, Jura, Colonsay and Mull Islands, Scotland
• West coast of India
• Alexander Bay, South Africa

Ballyhillin Beach is just east of Malin Head, the most northerly point on the mainland of Ireland. Heavy glacial ice covered the land during the last ice age, depressing the Earth’s crust. Later when the glacier melted, the land rose by up to 100 feet.

The Cantabrian Coast of Spain on the Bay of Biscay has raised beaches reaching over 900 feet above the water in some places, caused by an uplift of the land. There are 4 different levels of raised beaches on the Cantabrian Coast.

The Scottish Islands Islay, Jura, Colonsay and Mull have raised beaches that are the most noticeable in Scotland. Higher above the shoreline, a rocky terrace at 25 feet above sea level may have been a raised beach that was formed before the last ice age in the islands.

Much of the west coast of India has a raised beach from 6 to 15 feet above the water and may have been caused by an uplift of the land. On the west coast of South Africa at the border of Namibia in 1925, at a raised beach close to the Orange river and Alexander bay, a rich deposit of diamonds was found underground beneath the sand, valued at millions of dollars.

Raised Beach definition:

A beach above sea level, beyond the reach of waters at high tide

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