Geog 4A investigation beach height

Heres my Investigation its brief and to the point I hope.

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  • Created on: 05-06-12 14:31
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Geography investigation
The gradient of the managed section is higher than the unmanaged section
Walton on the Naze, Essex, UK
Characteristics of the area
The beach is split into two sections managed and unmanaged as shown below, there was a cost
benefit analysis done and it was found the area in front of the houses would benefit from coastal
defences this is because things like houses and Naze tower which have higher value so needed to be
protected whereas in the unmanaged section there is limited things located there so it is not worth
protecting. The Naze tower is a tourist attraction and also a marker for where the Harbour is located
for ships coming into the Harwich Harbour. The managed section and unmanaged section is shown
below with the Naze tower and houses that need to be protected shown. Where the area is not
been managed the cliff is retreating at a rate of 2m/year.
Geographical theory
Groynes in the managed section mean that they capture more sediment due to longshore drift.
Longshore drift is the process which sediment is moved along a shoreline as the backwash goes out
to sea parallel to the coast, the swash then goes onto the beach in the direction of the waves which
is often at an angle to the beach so does not goes back in the same place so is moved up the
shoreline as shown in the image above. This is more common in the unmanaged side so sediment
gets removed due to nothing to the stop the sediment form being removed, but in the managed
sides stop the sediment getting to the unmanaged side which is then deprived of sediment so is
more easily eroded due to the sediment being "captured" by the groynes which helps build up the
beach in the managed section of the shoreline. So from this we would expect the managed section of
the beach to have a big change of height due to the build-up of sediment whereas the unmanaged
have little change in height. The wave fetch is not that long meaning that the waves have a weak swash so
they act like constructive waves so they help build-up the beach but only when there is sediment present,
this also means that the gradient of the beach would be quite shallow as the sediment is moved up the
beach. Whereas in the unmanaged section the wave cut platform is likely to be exposed due to the lack of
sediment on the beach so would have a fairly flat beach. There has also been some cliff re-grading in the
managedsection of the beach where the gradient of the slope is made gentler so it is less prone to slumping
or landslides as shown in the image left.
Ranging pole- Used with the theodolite to measure the height of the beach from a particular point

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Theodolite- Helps view the ranging pole from a level point
Sieve- Used to help remove the smaller beach material so could measure the larger beach material
Tube ­Helps measure infiltration rates of the beach as it is filled up with water and is measured how
much the water goes down in a certain amount of time.…read more

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On the managed side of the beach
there was a clear higher build-up of sediment on one side of the beach, this is due to long-shore drift
depositing the sediment one side of the beach against one of the groynes. For this investigation I
measured the gradient of the beach on the side where there is a higher build-up of sediment so
could get a real contrast with the results to which would then prove my hypothesis.…read more

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