This is covered by:

AQA 8035, Cambridge IGCSE, CEA, Edexcel A, Edexcel B, Eduqas A, OCR A, OCR B, WJEC



The coast, coastal zone or  shoreline is the area where the land and the sea meet. It includes beaches, cliffs, estuaries, mudflats and salt marsh, as well as the land in between such features where we live, work and play.


The coastal landscapes of the UK are shaped by the interaction of geology with waves, the processes of erosion and deposition, and man-made interventions in the form of coastal defences. Although erosion and deposition are the key processes, there is one form of mechanical weathering worth mentioning for the role it plays in the shaping of our coasts; freeze-thaw.  This occurs in temperatures hovering around freezing.  When temperatures are above freezing, liquid water penetrates cracks in rocks, ir fills the voids between particles. As temperatures drop below freezing the water becomes ice, expanding as it does so, applying pressure to the surrounding rocks. This widens the cracks slightly. When the ice thaws the crack or pore space is slightly larger than it used to be, allowing it to hold more liquid water than before. This, when it freezes again, will enlarge the space further, leading to the eventual breakup of the rock in situ.

The dominant coastal shaping processes are, however, erosion and deposition.


GCSE Geography looks at the coastal zone under the following headings. Almost all the current curriculums expect you to know the same things, so it’s worth learning the lot!