Drift and Swash Alignments
Drift alignments are found on beach-fringed coasts where the dominant waves arrive obliquely to the shore and (with accompanying currents) maintain a beach parallel to the direction of the resulting longshore drift. They are typically found on straight or saliented coasts where the obliquely arriving waves move sediment alongshore. Swash alignments develop where beaches have been shaped by waves arriving parallel to the shore, usually in curved patterns resulting from wave refraction. They are typically found in embayments where longshore drifting is limited and beach outlines run parallel to the crests of incoming waves. Figure D48 shows how an incoming south-westerly swell has produced beaches with drift alignments in Western Port Bay, Australia, and beaches with swash alignments on adjacent Phillip Island. Drift and swash alignments can be developed experimentally on beaches in a wave tank ( Davies, 1980, Figure 90): they are sometimes described as drift-dominated and...
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