Coastal Ecosystems

Coastal Ecosystems

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  • Created by: zooandroo
  • Created on: 15-02-14 20:17

Salt Marshes

  • A salt marsh is a halosere - an area where the plants are all adapted to salt water. They provide protection by reducing storm tidal energy, and are a habitat for birds and plants. 
  • They are threatened by: reclamation, seen as wasted space, so are used for developments such as marinas and recreational facilities (=damage from ships); pollution from industry and agriculture (leads to eutrophication); Changing temperature, sea level rise, and increased high- impact storms (GLOBAL WARMING)
  • Case Study: Essex Salt Marshes: Contains many SSSIs and some National Nature Reserves.
  • Much of the land is used for agriculture, and is protected by sea walls and embankments.
  • The marshes are being threatened by aquaculture, tourism (2 million/year), industry (increased activity from eg the Harwich International Port; oil refineries at Canvey Island), and pleasure boating (there are now 11,000 boats moored in the area).
  • Impacts have been increased pollution of salt marshes, destruction of marshes as they are used for agriculture/industry, and coastal erosion lead to loss through 'coastal squeeze'.
  • Management: HARD: 'hold the line' at Marsh House and Hamford Water, eg groynes, beach replenishments, barges filled with sand and mud to improve the beach. 
  • SOFT: Managed realignment and retreating the line at Blackwater Estuary and Abbots Hill.
  • NONE: Natural processes have been allowed to occur at Cudmore Grove. 
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  • Mangroves= trees that grow in inter tidal, depositional, saltwater environments in the tropics and sub tropics, between 30N and 30S.
  • They are threatened by: Clearing- often seen as an eyesore/ obstacle to the beach for tourists; pollution from fertilisers in agriculture; destruction of coral reefs- this lets stronger waves reach the mangroves, undermining the fine sediment in which they grow and preventing seedlings from taking root and washes away essential nutrients. 
  • Case study: Sri Lanka - during the 2004 tsunami, one village surrounded by 200ha of mangroves only had 2 deaths, but in a neighbouring village with no coverage, up to 6000 people died. 
  • Half of Sri Lanka's mangroves have already disappeared, due to aquaculture (producing shrimp and prawns to export to eg Europe, Japan, the USA), tourism, conversion to rice paddies (flooding the fields), pollution.
  • Management: The Global Nature Fund (an NGO) has had a mangrove replantng and resoration programme since 2005 (partly funded by the EU)- over 100,000 mangrove seedlings have been grown (50ha of forest). It has also grown orchards (extra income), and they are worked by locals who lost their livelihoods in the tsunami.
  • Local fishermen are given aid for the development of ecotourism.
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The Coastal Zone

  • The coast is a dynamic zone where the land and the sea meet.
  • It is an open system
  • The equilibrium can be changed through:
  • Human Management eg groynes preserve sediment in one area but starve another of it.
  • Extreme weather conditions eg localised storms.
  • Tsunamis
  • Human land use eg for harbours/ ports
  • Deforestation of mangroves = loss of anchoring roots- sediment not held in plant. Inland, it will increase the level of sediment flowing to the coast via rivers. 
  • Extractions from rivers (eg for reservoirs) may reduce discharge and outflow into the sea. 
  • Risks of living at the coast: 
  • Erosion of cliffs (eg at Holderness - can cause slumping and landslides).
  • Floods, tsunamis, hurricanes and storm surges.
  • Oil spills - eg Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
  • Tourism 
  • Expensive house prices because of demand for 2nd homes for tourists.
  • Climate change (sea level rising). 
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Dibden Bay

  • Southampton Water is a Ria and part of the estuary of the Rivers Test and Itchen. 
  • It is suitable for industry because: it's sheltered from storms at the Channel; has a deep water channel for large ships; and there is lots of flat land that is easy to build on. 
  • Pressures: Expansion of villages (eg Hythe) near the estuary; Industrial development; sewage disposal; sailing and leisure usage.
  • Growth is squeezed between Southampton Water and the New Forest.
  • There is a plan to build a container port at Dibden Bay. This would include building 2.1km of docks over 350 ha of land. It would cost £700 million to build, but would create over 3000 new jobs, and a new access road to the A326 and a rail link would be built.
  • Economic opportunities- Multiplier effect-  money due to   availability of work- boost for local economy.   demand for land-  land prices.
  • Economic Threats - Oil spills/ industrial waste/ sewage pollution.
  • Environmental value- Tourists/ bird watchers want to see the wildlife in the salt marshes; recreational activities (swimming, sailing).
  • Environmental Threats-  Effluent (liquid waste) leads to altering ecosystems due to change in food chain; expansion of Fawley oil refinery= reduction in salt marsh.
  • People in favour of expansion: S'hampton City Council, Confederation of British Industry.
  • People opposed to expansion: RSPB, Local residents, English Nature, Council for NPs. 
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  • Holderness is the most rapidly eroding coastline in Europe (2m/year on average). 
  • Reasons why Holderness erodes so quickly include:
  • Geology= boulder clay (little resistance to erosion, especially when wet), glacial till/aluvium (a mix of fine clays, sands and boulders deposited after the last Ice Age), and chalk.
  • Fetch= Holderness is exposed to winds from the north-east, with a fetch of 500-800km. Factors influencing the fetch include: 
  • Destructive waves; low pressure weather systems (often produce very strong wind and waves); the North sea is almost 'enclosed', so generates huge waves during storms (waves move within the sea but cannot disperse their energy); sea floor depth (the sea floor is deep, so there is less friction between the wave and the sea bottom).
  • Cliff erosion processes- mostly Longshore Drift (LSD). Boulder clay erodes to clay particles, which are easily transported out to sea, rather than widening the beaches. Other material (eg sand) is moved south by LSD, so the cliffs are exposed to erosion by hydraulic action and abrasion. 
  • Management: (look at table provided mostly) - There has also been coastal zoning, beach nourishment at Hornsea (has to be replenished every 1-2 years) and revetments at Easington to protect the gas terminal (they absorb wave energy, are expensive but last a long time).
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Land reclamation

  • Land reclamation is the drainage of land temporarily waterlogged by seasonal flooding, or the sea. 
  • Drainage of lakes or shallow parts of the sea floor- this is often done with an inshore area enclosed by an embankment and the enclosure filled by rubble, rubbish or material pumped from the sea bed. 
  • Netherlands- It is the 24th most densely populated countries in the world.
  • To gain more land a barrier was built across the Zuider Zee.
  • 2,500km2 of polders (low-lying land surrounded by embankments) were constructed for agricultural lad.
  • 1/6 of the country (around 7,000km2) is made up of reclaimed land.
  • Other examples include Dubai and slums in Lagos, Nigeria.
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Coral Reefs

  • Coral reefs= Made from coral polyps. Provide a habitat for 25% of all marine species. Found in water <50m deep, and 26-27C warm (around the equator).
  • They are threatened by: Tourism (illegal trading of coral); pollution from industry/agriculture bleaches coral, killing it; fishing (bottom trawling and overfishing); sea level rise - many reefs are now deeper than 50m, reducing levels of light getting through, bleaching them.
  • Case Study: Great Barrier Reef: Located off the coast of Queensland. The world's largest reef, with an area of 344,400 sq km. High level of biodiversity - over 1,500 fish species. 
  • In 1981 the reef became a World Heritage Site, managed by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (created in 1975). It is used for local fishing, but tourism generates $4 billion/year (2 million visitors/year, and often snorkel, dive or sail on the reef).
  • It is threatened by: Climate Change (increases ocean temperatures= coral bleaching); pollution (90% of the reef's pollution is farm runoff, causes eutrophication,  water quality).
  • Management: The reef has been zoned since 1975, and certain activities are banned. Ecotourism is encouraged (educates and informs tourists/ provides revenue without damaging the reef). The Government also set goals after the 2008 Reefocus summit. These include a 50%  in nitrogen and phosphorus levels by 2013, and 20% ↓ in sediment load (amount of sediment in solution) by 2020, and to reduce farming runoff levels.
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Economy of scale- container ships

  • The Eleonora Maersk is the biggest ship ever- 397m long, and can carry 7,500 containers.
  • Ships like the Eleonora Maersk cost around $200m each.
  • Even though the ship is so large, it only uses 3g of fuel per nautical mile, and is run by only 19 people.
  • The ship is a container ship- full of standardised boxes, that are stackable.
  • It delivers goods all over Europe (to the UK, Denmark, Poland, Sweden) from South Korea, China and Malaysia.
  • Why do ships like the Eleonora Maersk exsist?
  • They use up very little fuel, which means that companies can charge less for produce. 
  • This cheap production cost is why there is a 'global shift' from the UK.
  • 90% of what we use is now transported in container ships. 
  • The London Gateway is a new deep port being built to dock container ships. It will be the size of 61 Wembley stadiums- 2,700m, and will recieve furniture, clothes and electronics. 
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  • EasyJet was founded in 1995, and by 2006 it owned 122 airplanes, making £2billion. It now has 300 flight routes in the EU, and is the 4th largest airline in Europe. 
  • In 2006 is had 33 million passengers, now it has more than 58 million/year.
  • What factors have enabled it to expand?
  • Technology: Its first online sale was in 1998, and now 95% of its flights are bought this way. There are better, larger, faster planes now, so prices have decreased, so more people can now afford to fly abroad. 
  • Europe's free market: The EU have relaxed laws about airline activity, so airlines can land and take off again quicker than before. Airports also tend to service all the plances that land at their airports, so EasyJet don't need to pay extra people for that. There are also 170% more routes across Europe with 40% lower fares. 
  • 'Cheaper than a pair of jeans' (advertisment in 1995)
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International organisations to promote trade

  • WTO- (World Trade Organisation). Formed in 1993, it aims to cut trade barrier that stop countries trading freely, so that goods can flow more easily.
  • OECD- (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). Formed in 1961, it's a global think tank for 30 of the world's wealthiest nations. It monitors economic performance and works to reduce corruption and bribery.
  • OPEC-(Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries). Has 11 members who overall supply 40% of the world's oil. It has a large influence on global oil prices.
  • G8+5- The G8 consists of Russia, the USA, the UK, France, Canada, Italy and Japan, and represents 65% of the world's trade (but only 15% of the population) and meet annually. In 2005 they added China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa.
  • G20- Formed in 2004, this actually has 23 members from the developing world (including the BRIC countries), and is focused on agricultural trade.
  • World Bank- This exsists to promote global investment and provide loans for countries who agree to conditions. Similar to the IMF.
  • IMF-(International Monetary Fund). It forces countries to privatise government assets, which are then bought by large TNCs. Many believe this has forced poorer countries to sell their assets to wealthy TNCs.
  • EU- Formed in 1957, with 27 members, it's an economic union with internal free trade and population movement. Accounts for 31% of the world's total GDP.
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  • It started as a grocery stall in the East End in 1919, and its first self-servce supermarket opened in 1956
  • In the mid-1990s, entered post Soviet-era Europe and opened stores in Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia. 
  • After Terry Leahy was appointed CEO in 1997, Tesco started its 'Asian expansion programme', opening stores in Taiwan and South Korea between 1998-2000. In Thailand and South Korea, it opened 800 stores (>Walmart and Carrefour), and striked a deal with Samsung to sell their products.
  • By the mid-2000s, 72% of its stores were smaller convienience stores (<15,000sq. feet).
  • In 2006, it had over £2.7billion in profit.
  • In 2007, it opened its first store in the USA (in 2006, it had commited $1.25 billion to enter). It also had a 27.6% share of the UK market (double Asda's and Sainsburys), and sold its first 'value' jeans for £3. 
  • In 2008, there were over 1000 stores in Asia, and took over 36 Carrefour stores in South Korea. In 2008 Tesco also emerged as the world's 3rd largest store, with sales of £60 billion and profits of £3 billion. 
  • By 2009 there were 115 stores in the USA (called 'Fresh and Easy' instead of Tesco).
  • In 2009, 64% of its operating space was outside the UK, employing 183,600 people. 
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Pros and Cons of a TNC

  • TNCs may avoid paying taxes, and take profits to its base country instead. 
  • They can limit linkages with other economies/countries.
  • They contribute to the growing global wealth divide.
  • They can cause environmental degradation.
  • They can help to raise living standards by helping to raise wages and spread the wealth.
  • They can help transfer technology and managerial know how.
  • They can bring political stability.
  • They can raise environmental awareness.
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Global Network Connections

  • Network: How places link together
  • Flows: Transfers within a network of money, people, information etc.
  • (Look at flashcards for 'switched on' and 'switched off' stuff).
  • HICs generally have hubs in the core and the periphery of a network (major hubs in the centre spread outwards).
  • MICs generally just have hubs in the core. 
  • Why is this an issue? It creates greater regional and social disparities (eg Dakar in Senegal).
  • LICs remain relatively 'switched off' from global networks.
  • Why is this an issue? 1: It widens the gap between rich and poor. 2: It makes LICs dependent on richer nations. 3: They rely on borrowed money. 
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The Gulf- a hyperconnected hub

  • The Persian Gulf (made up of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the UAE) has become a 'stop over', focussing on luxury hotels, malls and 'island' residences.
  • The Gulf has developed into a global hub due to: Geography: 2 billion people live within 4 hours flying time of the Gulf, and 4 billion within 7 hours. Development in education: Adult literacy rates have increased, ranging from +7% to +26% between 1990 and 2009. The increase in literacy also triggers the multiplier effect. Transport: Airlines such as Emirates and Qatar Airlines have grown at such a fast rate, and are known as 'super-connectors', because they carry many transit passangers on their way to other destinations. All of the Gulf's airlines are expanding, which is causing all the airport hubs to grow as well. Dubai airport, which currently handles 60 million passengers/year, plans to increase capacity to 120 million passengers/year. TNC investment: TNCs are rapidly investing in the Gulf to try to cash in on the global knowlegde economy there.
  • RISKS: Political: Between terrorism, uprisings and war, the Gulf is very unstable. Economic: Rapid growth can lead to asset bubbles, which can burst and crash. Cultural: Western and Arab cultural norms are very different, which can lead to clashes. Physical: The region is already suffering water stress and relies on desalination. Social: Their reliance on cheap immigrant labour from south Asia is seen as exploitative. Environmental: Coastalisation and reef destruction are irreversibly damaging the Gulf's ecosystems.
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Shell in Nigeria

  • The Ogoni tribe live in Ogoni land in Southern Nigeria. Timeline of important dates:
  • 1956- Shell first 'moved in'.
  • 1958- First oil production
  • 1990- Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MoSOP) formed, lead by Ken Saro-Wiwa.
  • 1993- 300,000 Ogonis protest at government with a bill of rights to try to protect their land.
  • 1994- 4 community leaders killed; Ken Saro-Wiwa and 8 others arrested.
  • 1995- Saro-Wiwa and the others killed after trial; widespread condemnation at the government.
  • 1996- Shell put on trial accused of arranging to kill the 4 community leaders.
  • 2004- A new protest group, The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, set up. MEND has launched an 'oil war' against the Nigerian government.
  • 2009- Shell were fined $15.5 million (£9.6 million) after being linked to the deaths of the community leaders and the unlawful deaths of Saro-Wiwa and the other 8 men.
  • 2011- Shell accepts responsibility for two oil spills in Ogoniland.
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Shell in Nigeria

  • Shell has been operating in the Niger Delta in Nigeria since 1956, and produces nearly half the country's total oil output. 
  • Advantages: Employment: Shell employs over 5,000 people directly, 95% of whom are Nigerian, and 66% of which are from the local delta area, and 20,000 more indirectly.
  • Disadvantages: Employment: There are bad labour conditions, with long working hours and low pay, and child labour is often used. Skilled jobs often are given to people from abroad. 
  • Advantages: Financial: Shell provides wages for employees, boosting the local economy. It also produces 20% of Nigeria's GDP and 95% of its export earnings. 
  • Disadvantages: Financial: The main benefictors are Shell and the government. Despite producing 2.3 million barrels of oil a day, 60% of Nigerians live below the poverty line.Local people saw little benefit, which caused unrest. After riots and protests, payment to local people has now increased from 3%-13% of the oil revenues. 
  • Advantages: Infrastructure development: 6,000km of piplines have been built, as well as 8 natural gas stations, roads and airports. TNC presence increase sanitation levels too.
  • Disadvantages: Environmental destruction: There have been >4,000 oil spills since 1960, which have contaminated the local food and water supplies. Shell has also been accused of gas flaring (releasing uncollectable gas into the atmosphere), which causes air pollution. Shell has also deforested local forests, reducing local food/fuel supplies. 
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