A highly readable book on the nature of beaches, including the dynamics of the shoreface, surf, swash and backbeach, and globally at the regional variations in beach systems from the tropics to the poles. The beach and adjacent shoreface are the most dynamic part of the Earth's surface. They represent a narrow zone where waves, tides and winds continously interact, producing, wherever sediment is available, hundreds of thousands of kilometres of beach systems. Beaches are also the focus of intense pressure from users and developers, and for these reasons alone a knowledge of beach systems and their morphodynamics is critical to their sustainable management. This book is the first to: provide an in-depth and holistic view of beach systems, looking both in detail at the different beach zones and globally at range of parameters influencing regional variation examine the relationship between beaches and ancillary dune systems and includes chapters on beach ecology, safety, stratification and barrier evolution. The book is designed for use in the classroom and the office, being aimed at university level students and coastal professioanls.