Natural Process That Has Been Most Significant in the Formation of a Natural Feature at the Muriwai Coastal Environment

Topics: Wave, Coastal geography, Refraction Pages: 2 (636 words) Published: October 27, 2012

(a) Identify ONE natural process that has been most significant in the formation of a natural feature shown on you map/diagram. Justify why this is the most important process forming this feature.

The Muriwai coastal environment is a unique environment where the coastline and relief is constantly being shaped into landforms such as caves, arches, stacks and stumps through marine erosional processes and wave refraction. The combination of these processes working in conjunction with each other in the vanity of the Otakamiro point headland in the Muriwai coastal environment, consequently resulting in the current headland morphology of a cave and arch within the headland and an offshore stack, Motutara island.

Waver refraction is the process where waves bend around relief and cause the erosion of the headland/relief resulting in the forming and shaping of other landforms Refraction occurs when the part of a wave crest in shallower water moves slower than the part of the wave crest in deeper water, causing the wave to bend (see figure 1). When waves approach a straight shore line at an angle, the part of a wave crest, closer to the shore is in shallower water and moving slower than the part away from the shore in deeper water. The wave crest in deeper water catches up so that the wave crest tends to become parallel to the shore, causing the wave to bend and attack the sides of the headland.

Furthermore, the process of refraction occurs near the southern end of the beach, at Otakamiro point in the Muriwai Coastal Environment. The interaction of the ocean and relief, headland in a coastal environment, results in the combination of the process of hydraulic action and wave refraction which shapes and forms landforms such as caves, arches, stacks and stumps, over a period of time. Refraction occurs at Muriwai because of the varying degrees of water depth, as a shore bars within the water because the part of the wave crest in shallower water...
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