key terms 5 - Key Terms Coastal Environments Estuary A...

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Key Terms: Coastal Environments Estuary – A partially enclosed coastal body of water in which freshwater runoff dilutes salty ocean water. Examples of estuaries include river mouths, bays, inlets, gulfs, and sounds. Bar-built estuary – A shallow estuary; separated from the open ocean by sand bars that are deposited parallel to the coast by wave action. Lagoons that separate barrier islands from the mainland are bar-built estuaries. Coastal plain estuary – Forms as sea level rises and floods existing river valleys. These estuaries are called drowned river valleys (Chesapeake Bay). Estuarine circulation pattern – A flow pattern in an estuary characterized by a net surface flow of low-salinity water toward the ocean and an opposite net subsurface flow of seawater toward the head of the estuary. Fjord – A long, narrow, deep, U-shaped inlet that usually represents the seaward end of a glacial valley that has become partially submerged after the melting of the glacier.
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