paralic (sediment)

formed along the margins of the sea, but of nonmarine origin; esp. pertaining to inter-tongued marine and continental deposits laid down on the landward side of a coast or in shallow water subject to marine invasion. Etymol: Greek paralia, Aseacoast.@

pattern model

Syn: for synoptic model.

platform (wave-cut)

a flat, gently sloping underwater erosional surface extending seaward from a sea cliff. The platform is part of the wave-cut terrace and is caused by wave abrasion in and near the surf zone. Syn: shore platform. Cf: abrasion limit, cutting, wave-cut terrace.

plunging cliff

a sea cliff bordering directly on deep water, having a base or platform that lies below water level. Cf: platform, wave-cut terrace.

pocket beach

a small, narrow beach between rocky headlands where sand sources are the surrounding cliffs and occasionally leakage around the adjacent headlands.


the physics that governs cause and effect relationships observed in nature. The physics almost always represent specific formulations of Newton=s Laws of Motion, the Laws of Thermodynamics, and the Principles of Mass Conservation (continuity).

process model

computer model coded to employ the mechanics of the process (e.g., equations of motion, continuity, etc.) to compute an end product such as the littoral drift of sand. Syn: deterministic model.