beach cusp

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One of a series of regularly spaced crescent-shaped structures forming local relief along a beach face. The horns or ‘headlands’ of the cusp are composed of coarse sand or gravel, and point seaward down the beach. The intervening troughs or ‘bays’ are made up of finer sand. The height of beach cusps is usually in the order of several centimetres, although larger examples have been described. The size and spacing of cusps appears to be related to the nature of waves breaking on the beach. The ‘headlands’ and ‘bays’ form distinct microhabitats for benthic microflora.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry — Ecology and Conservation.

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