a shallow body of water between a barrier and the mainland, usu with a small entrance to the sea; a shallow body of water nearly enclosed by an atoll.


of or pertaining to the beach or shore; (biology) intertidal.

littoral cell

a coastal compartment that contains a complete cycle of sedimentation including sources, transport paths, and sinks.

littoral drift

material such as sand and gravel that is moved in the surf zone, parallel to the shoreline, by the longshore currents. Syn: longshore sand transport.

longshore bar(s)

an elongate bar or series of parallel bars that extend along the shore near the breakpoint of the waves.

longshore currents

transport of surf zone water that is parallel to the shore and driven by breaking waves.

longshore trough (beach)

an elongate depression or swale, usu forming one side of a longshore bar, that extends along the shore near the wave breakpoint. Cf: longshore bar.