Coasts Processes and Change.

Case Study of MEDC and LEDC.

Includes Netherlands, The Zuilder zee, The Delta Region and the Coastal Dune Region.

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Andy Whitworth
Coasts: Processes and Change
The management of the Dutch Coastline is divided into 3 main areas:
The Delta Region
The Zuider Zee
The coastal dune area.
The Delta Region
Flooding has been a major problem here, the disastrous floods in 1953 forced the
government to design a scheme that would control similar events in the future.
The Delta plan consists of:
A series of dams that seal off the channels between the large islands to
keep the sea out.
Two channels to allow ships to reach the Rotterdam and Antwerp ports.
The creation of some fresh water areas.
The East Scheldt dam, which is different to those already built (not fixed).
Pressure from environmentalists has resulted in the building of a storm
surge barrier with sluice gates that can be lowered in times of need. The
area behind the dam has remained as salt water, preserving the salt
marshes and mudflats for the wildlife.
The Delta plan has reduced the size of the defended coastline from 800km to
The Zuider Zee
The Zuider Zee was originally the long inlet of the sea that threatened large areas
of low-lying coastlines when high spring tides were backed by northerly winds. A
30 km barrier was completed in 1932, this created a fresh water lake, the
Ilsselmeer. This lake has been largely reclaimed as a series of agricultural land
providing areas for urban expansion and agriculture.
The Coastal Dune Area
The dunes occupy an area over 42,000 hectares. Currents and waves remove
sand in some areas and deposit it elsewhere. As the nearshore underwater sand
disappears, the beaches are gradually lowered, leading to damage of the dunes
behind the beach.
The main protective measures carried out include:
Sand mixed with water is pumped from the sea bed up to 20km out to
sea. Its then transported to the Dutch coast and sprayed on to the
beaches. This sand replenishment is accompanied by the construction of
groynes to hold sand on the beaches.
Grasses and trees are planted to hold the sand and reduce the surface
wind speed.
Sleeper dykes are placed below the dunes to keep them bedded down.

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Andy Whitworth
Certain areas are fenced off to prevent access and trampling.
Coastal Flooding
Physical and human causes of flooding and its socio-economic consequences.
Bangladesh has the worst record of the late 20th century for storm surges.
Serious events occurred in 1970, 1985 and 1991. During a storm surge the water
eventually hits the coast of the densely populated Bangladesh. The country
almost stands at sea level, covering most of the delta of the river Ganges.…read more


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