Coasts Case Studies

revision notes on case studies for coasts

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Coast Case Studies
Coastal Flooding
Maldives ­ a group of islands in the Indian Ocean
1190 islands of which 199 are inhabited
Average island height of 1.5m above sea level
Economic impacts
Loss of tourism ­ the largest industry in the Maldives. If main airport can't work due to coastal flooding
meaning it is cut off from international tourists
Disrupt the fishing industry. ­ Fish largest export. Flooding may damage processing plant
Social
Houses damaged and destroyed- severe flood could make entire communities homeless
Less freshwater available- supplies already low if polluted with salty seawater during floods then some
islands will have to rely on rainwater or build expensive desalination plants to meet water demands
Environmental
Loss of beaches ­ coastal flooding wears away beaches at a rapid rate destroying habitats and exposing
land behind beach to effects of flooding
Loss of soil- most soil is very shallow, coastal flooding could wash it away meaning most plants won't be
able to grow
Political
Maldivian government had to ask Japanese government to give them $60m to build the 3m high sea wall
that protects capital city, Male
Changes to environmental policies ­ increased flooding caused by rising sea levels caused by global
warming. Maldives pledged to become carbon neutral so doesn't contribute. Maldivian government
encouraging other governments to do same
Changes to long term plans- government thinking about buying land in countries such as India and Australia
and moving Maldivians there before islands become uninhabitable
Cliff Collapse
Barton-on-Sea, Hampshire
Stretch of coastline in Christchurch bay
Extensive coastal defences have been built to try and prevent coastal erosion
2008 fresh landslip occurred which raised concerns about the vulnerability of coast
Older development of houses is just 20m from cliff edge
Local authority predicts the houses will be lost in the next 10 -20 years
Cliffs are weak because
Rocks weak sands and clays which are easily eroded by sea and have little strength to resist collapse
Arrangement of rocks (permeable sand on top of impermeable clay) causes water to pool within the cliffs
increasing the weight and water pressure within the cliffs called pore water pressure encouraging collapse

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Faces direct force of prevailing south-westerly wind
Waves can have a very long fetch so can be very powerful and carry out a great deal of erosion
Small streams (locally called `Bunny's) flow towards the coast but disappear into permeable sands before
they reach the sea adding to amount of water in the cliffs
Buildings on cliff top have increased weight making more vulnerable to collapse and can also interfere with
drainage
Coastal Erosion and Coastal Management
Holderness coastline in east Yorkshire
61km long ­…read more

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Strategies are locally successful but cause problems elsewhere
Groynes protect local areas but cause narrow beaches to form further down the Holderness coast
Material produced from erosion normally transported south into Humber estuary.…read more

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Marram grass has folded leaves to reduce water loss , sand dunes are windy and dry and long roots to
stabilise itself in loose sand
Lyme grass has waxy leaves to reduce water loss by transpiration
Grebes are birds that dive underwater to fins food in the sea. Feed are far back on their bodies to help
them dive (makes them streamlined)
Snakes and lizards have thick, scaly skin to reduce water loss from their bodies.…read more

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It is a SSSI (site of special specific interest) meaning it gives it extra protection, no buildings are allowed on
it and conservation and research is a priority
The area is closely monitored and managed to maintain its biodiversity access is limited and development is
restricted
Different species found
Cord grass ­ spiky untidy looking grass that grows fast on mudflats
Sea lavender ­ attractive colourful flowers that attract wildlife
Oystercatcher ­ feeds and nests in salt marshes
Ringed plover - feeds intertidally and nests…read more

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