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Unit 2 ­ Coastal environments
Coasts are systems ­ they have inputs, processes and outputs
1. INPUTS ­ river sediment, sediment from cliffs that have been eroded or suffered landslides and sediment that
has been transported by waves from offshore (out at sea)
2. PROCESSES ­ wave action, tidal movement,…

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11. Storms/surges
Currents transport sediment
1. Current ­ general flow of water in one direction
2. They move material along the coast ­ this is called longshore drift
3. Swash carries sediment (e.g. shingle, pebbles) up the beach, parallel to prevailing wind. Backwash carries
sediment back down the beach, at…

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Sea level changes are either Eustatic or Isostatic
EUSTATIC (Eeverywhere GLOBAL) ISOSTATIC (I ­ inside only local)
Caused by vertical movements of the land relative to the
Caused by a change in the volume of water in the sea, or sea. Any downward movement of the land causes sea

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1. Management of river systems ­ some management strategies (e.g. dams) trap sediment and so reduce the
amount being deposited at the river's mouth. This causes deltas and salt marshes to shrink, providing less
protection against high tides and storm surges.
2. Management of coastal systems ­ some management strategies…

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Only some parts of the coast are managed with the aim of the protection being to protect homes, businesses and
the environment from erosion and flooding. This is because flooding and erosion of the coastline can have severe
social, economic and environmental impacts. All coastal settlements want to be defended,…

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dam at high tide. Controlled release of
water through turbines in the dam at
low tide generates electricity. They
also prevent flooding from storm

Soft Engineering defences involve coaxing natural processes along
1. Beach nourishment ­ sand and shingle added to beaches from elsewhere (dredged for example offshore).

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4. Beaches are created with the deposition of eroded material
5. Flood plains are generally wide, flat valley floors that become regularly flooded by a river.
6. Deltas form at a river mouth when sediment is deposited faster than the sea can remove it.
7. Certain ecosystems, such as mangrove…




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