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sandbar

sandbar in Science
sandbar
  (sānd'bär')   
A long mass or low ridge of submerged or partially exposed sand built up in the water along a shore or beach by the action of waves or currents.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for sandbar

offshore bar

submerged or partly exposed ridge of sand or coarse sediment that is built by waves offshore from a beach. The swirling turbulence of waves breaking off a beach excavates a trough in the sandy bottom. Some of this sand is carried forward onto the beach and the rest is deposited on the offshore flank of the trough. Sand suspended in the backwash and in rip currents adds to the bar, as does some sand moving shoreward from deeper water. The bar's top is kept below still-water (half-wave height) level by the plunge of the waves breaking over it. Bars and troughs are most pronounced in the heavy surf of the stormy season; they also migrate shoreward in gentle seas and seaward in high seas. Thus, although sandbars have greatest relief in the stormy season, they are more submerged

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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