How Do Beaches Form?

beaches-form Credit: Dennis Jarvis/CC-BY-2.0

A beach is any type of landform that lies along the shoreline of a body of water. The shoreline of a beach is formed naturally by the geographical end of the body of water, but the sand on the beach is formed over many years.

Sand on the beach is a mixture of minerals, rock, algae and seashells. When a beach forms, waves and currents continuously hit the shoreline. This causes erosion of the land on the shore and causes loose sediment from the body of water to move onto the land. Over time, the erosion turns the land into small granules. The granules mix together and form sand. The composition of the sand is dependent on where the beach is located and what type of organic matter and land forms are found in the area.