AQA AS Geography: Coastal Environments: Coastal development and management

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  • Coastal development and management
    • Landforms caused by changing sea level
      • Emergent coastlines
        • When the sea level rises due to isostatic recovery, old wave cut platforms and their beaches are raised above the present sea level.
        • Raised beaches are a common emergent coastline landform. You can see evidence of caves and wave cut notches (past marine erosion).
          • You would find raised beaches on the north west and north east coast of Scotland.
      • Submergent coastlines
        • When coastlines are flooded there are a number of landforms that are associated with sea level rise
          • Rias are formed when valleys in a dissected upland area are flooded. They are common in south west England.
          • Fjords are formed when deep glacial troughs are flooded by a rise in sea level. These are common in Chile, Norway and New Zealand.
          • Dalmatian coasts from in areas where valleys (especially glacial) are parallel to each other. When the valleys are flooded by the rise in sea level, the tops of the valleys remain above the water and look like a series of islands running parallel to the coastline. An example would be the Dalmatian coast in Croatia.
    • Coastal management
      • Half of the world's population live within 60km of the coast. 75% of all large cities are on the coast.
      • Traditional approaches usually involved direct action that focus on a short stretch of coastline and seek immediate change. Recently, a more long-term, sustainable approach is being adopted in order to achieve a balance between coastal processes and human needs.
      • A Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) is completed before a coastal management project begins. All the initial coasts are estimated and then compared to the expected benefits.
        • The costs and benefits are both tangible and intangible. Where the costs and benefits are known and where costs are difficult to asses (visual impact)
      • A sustainable intergrated approach
        • The shoreline management plan (SMP)
          • Each of the 11 sediment cells in England and Wales has its own SMP. Before a plan is decided on, four options are considered:
            • Hold the line: maintain current position
            • Advance the line: extending coastline out to sea using beach nourishment and groynes
            • Managed retreat/strategic realignment: allowing the coastline to retreat in a managed way eg. creating saltmarshes
            • Do nothing: let nature take over
        • The Integrated Coastal Zone Management Scheme (ICZM)
          • It aims to bring together everyone that is involved in coastal management. Coastlines are now being managed as a whole rather than by individual towns or councils.
    • The impact of recent and predicted climate change
      • Sea level rise is 67% as a result of thermal expansion and 33% as a result of glaciers melting.
      • The IPCC were established in 1988 and brings climate experts together from over 130 countries to understand how and why the climate is changing.
        • The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel; for climate change) has said that sea levels have stabilized in the last 3000 years. Over the last 200 years, sea levels rose by 1.7mm per year although this has increased to about 3.2mm per year between 1993-2010.
          • The IPCC predict that sea levels will rise by between 30cm and 1m by 2100.
      • Kiribati is a nation of 33 islands in the pacific ocean north east of Australia. The islands are very low-lying (in most cases only 1m above sea level). It has been predicted than in the next 50 years, many islands could disappear under the sea.
        • In 2014, the president Anote Tong bought 20 square km of land on one of the islands of Fiji (2000km from Kiribati). The land will be used in the immediate future for agriculture and fush-farming projects as the rising sea levels in Kiribati have made it hard to grow crops there.
          • In the future, people from Kiribati may have to move to this land. The government have launched a 'migration with dignity' policy to allow people to apply for jobs in neighboring countries such as NZ.


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