Coastal Environments Why does the coastline look like it does? What factors are at work? The factors at work on a stretch of coastline include: • Atmospheric (rainfall, temperature change, global warming etc) • Marine (wave action and tides, erosion, sediment transfer) • Human (sea defences, recreation, tourism, sand/gravel extraction, pollution, conservation) • Terrestrial (geology, weathering, ecosystems) Atmospheric wind (prevailing direction and force) precipitation sun ice impact of global warming and sea level rises Marine factors • wave action and tides • wave type (destructive or constructive) • fetch • supply of beach material - the transfer of sediment • longshore drift Human factors • what sea defences are there? • is the area heavily used by tourists? • is sand/gravel extracted? • is the coast protected through designation (SSSI, (Heritage Coast, National Park)? • pollution (human / industrial)? Terrestrial factors - geology • is the rock type the same all the way along the coast? • is it a hard rock? (Chalk and limestone have strongly cemented particles that make them more resistant.) • is it a softer type of rock? (eg: clays, boulder clays.) Terrestrial factors - weathering Sub-aerial processes: • rain falling directly on to cliffs • throughflow • surface run-off • wind • frost • mass movement (eg: soil creep, slumping and landslides) Ecosystems and wildlife Does the coastline consist of: • sand or shingle? • lagoons? (shallow bodies of brackish or sea water separated from the sea by sediment) • salt marsh? • rocky foreshores and cliffs? • sand dunes? All can support different species… Dynamic Equilibrium • the coastline is finely balanced, the result of the interaction of many factors • the coast is always changing – in a state of dynamic equilibrium • a stretch of coast should not be viewed in isolation – changes made to the coast in a particular place always have an impact somewhere else. This is Lulworth Cove, Dorset. Why does it look like this? How may visitors be having an impact on this area? Describe the defences here at Criccieth in North Wales. What positive and negative impacts will they have on this tourist destination?