Mississippi depicting sediments due to erosion
The finest beaches on the Mississippi Gulf Coast are located on Ship Island and are being eroded however; erosion is the thing that initially created the beaches. There were no beaches when oceans first covered the surface of the earth millions of years ago, only rocky shores. Over millions of years these solid stones were broken down into rocks by erosion, then were broken down into pebbles, and then into gravel, and then into sand. Rivers also carried down sand and silt from the mountains and deposited it into seas around the world and oceans. I found out that most causes of beach erosion are natural and the rest is because of man made structures. Jenny Lazlo of the National Awareness of Erosion was interviewed by one of my team members and stated that “everyone likes waves but they actually contribute to the erosion of beaches. Formations of waves are caused by wind, the rotation of the earth, and deep ocean currents.” Water moves in circular paths perpendicular to the ground. Waves take sand from the depths of the ocean and deposit it on the beaches. They also carry little pebbles and stones, and smash them into each other which create sand. Living on a beach or nearby one can be extremely harmful to humans because large waves can form (are powered by storms) and break into the beach washing back down much more sand with them to the ocean. A major part of beach erosion is ocean currents. Ocean currents can make and break the shore, depending on the circumstances but in this case it erodes the shore. “Long shore and near shore currents (riptides) are the two main types of currents that shape up beaches. The creation of the near shore current is when waves hit the beach at a ninety degree angles, they are very strong, narrow, and flow perpendicular to the beach in the seaward direction. This allows them to carry away large amounts of sand.” says Adam Copeland Erosion Researcher of Cornell University....
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