A beach profile is the shore-normal profile of a beach. A beach profile records the occurrence, location, and distribution of features defining the overall beach morphology. In order to fully understand the processes affecting a beach profiles should be made often, and should include the entire shore zone including the shoreface. However, this is beyond the scope of the our field work. We will be profiling the shore weekly.Although a beach profile changes daily there is a general modal morphology that reflects the conditions discussed below.

Waves and related currents

Summary
Beach slope and gradient: slope is the angle of the beach; gradient is h/l or tan(slope). The average slope or gradient of the foreshore (MLW to MHW) is used to define whether a beach is either steep (11° or .2) or shallow (.5° or .01).
Factors influencing beachface slope 
Steepness of the beachface is greatly influenced by the relative volume and strength of backwash and swash. Backwash moves sediment offshore resulting in a flatter beachface. Swash on the other hand carries sediment up the beach and will deposit it if allowed to percolate into the sediments. However, backwash can more efficiently move sediment because it works with gravity in the downslope direction. Swash on the other hand must move sediment up slope against gravity.
Sediment charateristics QUESTION: What roles do swash and backwash have in shaping the beach face? How do the above factors control the relative volume of swash and backwash?

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Lindley Hanson/email /Gls214
Department of Geological Sciences, Salem State College, Salem, MA