A shore break is where the waves break very close or directly on the shore of a beach. It is a dangerous type of break, as it can slam a swimmer or a surfer into the sand with very little water to pad his fall.
Shore break is caused by the bathymetry of the ocean bottom rapidly changing from a deep water or semi deep water environment to a shallow environment over a very short distance. An example would be if the ocean floor was 5m deep then changed to 1m deep over only a 1m distance. The resulting change in depth would cause an wave energy to discharge rapidly rather than gradually losing its energy over a long distance, gently sloped sea floor configuration. An excellent example of this type of bathymetry is Sandy Beach on Oahu, HI.
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