AQA GCSE Geography A the coastal zone

A set of revision notes for the forthcoming exam.

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How do waves shape our coastline?
How do waves form?
Waves are usually formed by the wind blowing over the sea. Friction with the surface of the water
causes ripples to form and these develop into waves. The stretch of water over which the wind
blows is called the fetch.…

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Which land processes shape our coastline?
Processes of weathering affect rocks exposed at coast. At coast,
freeze-thaw weathering is particularly effective if the rock
exposed is porous and permeable. Freezethaw weathering can lead
to rock fall.

Mass movement
Mass movement is when a lot of material is removed from…

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Which marine processes shape our coastline?
Coastal erosion
o Hydraulic power - trapped air blasted into rocks by sheer power of waves.
o Corrosion ­ the effect of rocks being flung at the cliff by powerful waves.
o Abrasion ­ this is the `sandpapering effect of pebbles grinding over a…

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What are the distinctive landforms resulting
from erosion?
Headlands and bays
Cliffs rarely erode at an even pace.
Sections of cliff that are particularly
resistant to erosion stick out to form
headlands. Weaker sections are easily
eroded to form bays. Headlands are the
most vulnerable to the power of the…

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What are the distinctive landforms resulting from
Beaches are accumulations of sand and shingle found where deposition occurs at the coast. Sandy
beaches are often found in sheltered bays, where they are called head beaches. When waves enter
these bays, they tend to mirror the shape of the…

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Coastal deposition at Hurst Castle, Hampshire
Case study: Hurst Castle in Hampshire

A popular tourist destination for one of the most famous spits in England. It is located on the
Hampshire coast, close to the city of Southampton. Its formation is complex, but longshore drift has
actively been shaping the…

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will be badly damaged.


Sea defences will be expensive. `Managed retreat' may cause controversy.

Case study (2): Bangladesh
Political: Natural:
A decrease in production of cash crops Salt industry ruined (high unemployment).
= decrease in GDP. Land quality degraded.
Increase in poverty. Mangrove forest and it unique habitat at…

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Usually the decision is made to `hold the line' however sometimes planners decide to `advance the
line' for greater protection by things such as increasing beach size.

Hard engineering schemes
Hard Description Cost Advantages Disadvantages
Sea wall Concrete or rock Up to £6 Effective at Looks obtrusive.

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Managed retreat
Allowing the controlled flooding of low-lying coastal area where the value of the land is low.

Case study: coastal defences at Minehead, Somerset
Minehead is on the north coast of Somerset and is one of the regions premier tourist resorts.

In the early 1990's it became clear that…

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e.g. in the lee of a spit or bar. A more deposition occurs the mud begins to break the surface to form
mug flats. Salt-tolerant plants such as cord grass soon start to colonise the mud flats. They are called
pioneer plants. Cord grass has long roots to stop it…



can't use it in 2003 word.

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