Beach berm

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Definition of Beach berm:
A beach berm is a nearly horizontal shore parallel ridge formed on the beach due to the landward transport of the coarsest fraction of the beach material by the wave uprush (swash).
This is the common definition for Beach berm, other definitions can be discussed in the article

Berms on a beach near Llithfaen (UK). Photo credit Eric Jones. Creative Commons Licence.


  • Beach berms are most pronounced on so-called reflective beaches (characteristics: steep slope, coarse sediment, subject to low-energy swell waves, intertidal zone almost absent).
  • There may be several beach berms and in some cases no berms.
  • Under normal conditions a beach berm is formed on the upper part of the beach face, and over the backshore during storm events.
  • Berms can also form on the higher intertidal zone of a tidal flat; these berms are generally called "swash bars".
  • Beach berms are sometimes artificially reinforced as coastal protection measure.

Related articles

Beach face
Nearshore sandbars
Definitions of coastal terms