Diagram of sand exchange
The coastal sand-sharing system, fair weather and foul. In fair weather, collapsing breakers and tides move sand onto the beach from offshore bars (A), sometimes creating a narrow tidepool on the beach (B). In foul weather, spilling and plunging breakers erode sand from the beach and carry it offshore to form sandbars (C). In major storms, high waves and tides move sand over and between sand dunes to form overwash fans behind the dunes (D). Overwash events often carry sand onto roads and buildings built close to the beach.
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