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Wave Energy. High energy waves tend to produce shingle beaches. Sandy beaches are found in low energy areas.
Wave Type. Destructive waves = stronger backwash = more material moving back down the beach = shallower profile. Constructive waves = strong swash = more material moved up the beach = steeper beach profile.
Sediment Calibre. Shingle beaches are generally steeper as backwash percolates easily through the shingle reducing its energy and ability to comb material back down the beach.
Berms Smaller ridges that develop at the position of the mean high tide mark resulting from deposition at the top of the swash. Berms are generally created by smaller waves which have less energy so the material is smaller.
Storm Beach At the back of the beach, very strong swash during storm conditions may deposit larger material, forming a storm beach or ridge.
Ridges and Runnels The spreading out of the waves’ energy/work across a wide area of beach tends to produce ridges and intervening depressions called runnels. They are particularly common on shallow, sandy beaches.
Beach Cusps Cusps are semi-circular depressions; they are smaller and more temporary features formed by a collection of waves reaching the same point. The sides of the cusp channel the incoming swash into the centre of the depression and this produces a stronger backwash which drags material down the beach from the centre of the cusp.