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Coastal Geographic Environment Analysis

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How Natural Processes Operate at Coastal Geographic Environment

Natural Processes are actions or events that have natural causes, which result in natural events. The three main coastal environment processes that operate at Muriwai are Coastal Erosion, Coastal Transportation and Coastal Deposition.
The elements that interact to produce natural processes are wind, waves and tides. Each phenomenon at Muriwai's coastal geographic environment has been produced by interaction.

Coastal Erosion is a process at Muriwai that gradually wears away the rock particles of the earth's surface, transporting them to another location. There are many types of processes that cause erosion at Muriwai such as wave erosion, wind erosion and wave refraction.
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These types of erosion have caused the formation of several phenomena at Muriwai.
Motutara Island (stack) was produced by the formation of two caves on either side of the headland -- forming an arch and the roof slowly eroding away due to vertical erosion.
Fisherman's Rock was produced by cliff retreat when undercutting stones are thrust at the cliff by wave action.
The blowhole was formed by vertical, hydraulic and mechanical erosion causing the cracks and fissures to enlarge over time to produce this hole.
Types of wave erosion operating on the headland have produced the cave.

Wave Refraction is an important process as it influences wave erosion on Otakamiro headland and on the beach at Muriwai (refer to Diagram 1). Wave Transportation (Longshore Drift) varies spatially due to wave refraction. It is the process by which waves alter their course as they interact in shallow water with the seabed along the coastline. This process produces wave erosion, which focuses its energy on Otakamiro Point.

Diagram 1

Constructive, Destructive and Dissipative are the types of waves that operate at Muriwai that cause erosion.
Dissipative waves are the waves usually found at Muriwai -- they lose their energy before they reach the shore as they usually break on the offshore bar. Constructive waves are long waves with little height that leave material at the top of the beach, building it up.
Destructive waves are erosive
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