Competition for coasts

  • costal diversity
  • coastal attractions
  • the gorwth of costal resorts
  • Created by: Amy
  • Created on: 19-01-12 11:45

Densly populated areas.

  • Most of Europe- particularly north west
  • greece
  • turkey
  • israel
  • baltic states- france, uk
  • west of africa- nigeria
  • japan
  • china
  • malaysia
  • indonesia
  • thialand
  • korea
  • california
  • new york
  • eastern sea board- america
  • peru
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Costal system

Inputs into coastline:

  • wave energy
  • water
  • sediment


  • water 
  • sediment

Internal transfers:

  • Water 
  • energy 
  • sediment
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What is the coast?

The coast is part of the land affected by its proximity to the sea. Its a zone of transition. The coast line is the frontier between the sea and land.

Dynamic equilibrium:

Balanced state of a system- equal inputs and outputs. If one element changes because of some influence it upsets the internal equilibrium. 

eg. if a beach looses sand,it upsets the  equilibrium. 

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Factors that influence the coast line


  • Relief of the land- height of the land
  • resistance of rocks- easy to erode in the atmosphere such as boulder clay 


  • Tidal changes
  • Longshore drift- water carries rock and deposits it on land 

Weather and climate:

  • Rainfall and temperature
  • storms 

Human activities:

  • use of land for developments 
  • recreation 
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Coastal goods and ecosystems

Basic survival:

  • building material- chalk 
  • source of water
  • fish
  • food craps- seaweed
  • energy via biomass

Vital services for survival:

  • provision of wildlife habitats
  • cycling of nutrients 
  • flood and storm protection 
  • a gene pool for the future
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Why are coastal areas a magnet

  • water based recreation activities
  • land agriculture
  • cooling water for power stations
  • sandy beaches
  • fishing opportunities
  • employment
  • tidal power
  • retirement destinations
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Case study: lancashire plain

Plain is very flat and is only a few meters above sea level. It has been continuously inhabited since pre-historic times. 

goods and services:

  • geology- making glass and bricks 
  • climate- fertility good for farming 
  • rivers- water power, indistrial water supply
  • estuaries- sites for industry
  • inshore waters- fish
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Development of tourism in the uk

  • 1841- railway network developed- key to the growth of tourism. Due to this in 1841 Thomas Cook arranged the first package holidays
  • 1925- workers in industry had two weeks paid leave which the often spent at seaside resorts
  • new social mobility after WW2- movement of people as a results of social factors. 
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Scarborough Tourism

  • Britain's 1st holiday resort
  • 1735 had its first bathing machines
  • renowned for- castle, spas, hotel, harbor, donkeys
  • Bathing was believed to cure diseases- helped Scarbs move on economically
  • Scarborough- York railway opened in 1825
  • between 1831-41 the population went from 8,000 to 20,00+
  • late 20th century- began decline
  • due to package holidays, and cheap air transport
  • multiple deprivation appeared
  • fishing industry ended in 1970 due to ww1 bombing. 
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Benidorm as a coastal resort

  • According to 2010 census- 5th most popular Alicante province
  • 17th century- improvement of benidorm as there was construction of an advanced irrigation system


  • initial growth due to package holiday explosion 
  • Tourism has defined the economy of benidorm- tourist trade all year 
  • Variety of shope etc...
  • 1952 decline in fishing industry- council approved for improvements towards the tourism industry- 
  • population increased in ten years by thousands 
  • growth accelerated further by building of new airport- El Alet in 1967


  • each summer- music festival called benidrom international song festival
  • Two main beaches- both busy and keeps clean all year. sunrise and sunset beach
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Fieldwork techniques:


  • age of building survey- systematic linear sampling at regular intervals along a transect to see how the building age changes.- quantitative
  • Visitor survey -quantitative
  •  Pedestrian count- systematic linear samplingat regular intervals along a transect.-quantitative
  • Traffic survey- tally chart- stratified at a coast-quantitative
  • Photos- stratified showing different places within the study area
  • Recorded interviews- qualitative 

Secondary data:

  • Old newspapers, old photographs, old maps (
  • Population data-
  • why tourism began-
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Data representation

  • age of building map
  • pie charts 
  • annotated photographs
  • flow maps
  • line graph to show growth of scarbs
  • annotated site map of Scarborough growth zones 
  • proportional circles
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Fieldwork results

  • Age of building- further away from the castle, more modern buildings appear. eg. 1220 age at 0m awar, 1995 age 4000m away. 
  • Questionnaire- 273 people were asked if they visited the each, 81% said they did 
  • 60% of people visited north and south bay 
  • most people popular activity was walking 78%. Followed by visiting seafront shops 38%
  • bar chart showed that 91% people said they would make no change to Scarborough as they feel beaches are excellent 

Secondary date results:

Scarborough tourist statistics- tourism accounts for 7,453 direct jobs, or 18% f the work force, making it the second most significant sector of employment 

Yorkshire visitor survey sept 2009- repeat visitors 82%, 20% said scarbs was relaxing. 

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Pressure on coastal environments

Coral reefs:

  • found in shallow marine waters
  • habitat to great variety of plant and wildlife
  • valuable in, protection to low lying coasts, rich fish stocks, tourist appeal
  • under threat from human pollution, over fishing, quarrying for building material. 

decline outline:

  • coastal areas attract development
  • reefs attract tourists
  • fishing ports
  • removal of fish
  • fish don't come and feed
  • local loss if income and employment
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  • Trees and shrubs grown in coastal habitat's 
  • found in tropics and sub tropics 
  • rich in wildlife 
  • vital nurseries for fish
  • trap silt to create new land 
  • providers of fuel and building material
  • protect low lying coasts against storm surge
  • perceived as diseased
  • being cleared at a fast rate to provide timber and sites for tourists
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Salt marshes

  • found along lowland coasts 
  • often reclaimed for farm land 
  • providers of high value habitats 
  • rich in biodiversity 
  • reduce power of tides 
  • threatened by changes associated with global warming. 
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Field work- beach pollution

Primary data:

  • litter survey- systematic linear sampling, on a transect of 100 meters wide. take a sample of litter using a quadrant five times at 20m intervals. record of frequency of litter and what type. trundle wheel to measure
  • Visitor surveys and questionnaires- systematic sampling- to remove bias and ask on vulnerability issues eg. on a scale of 1-5 how polluted is the beach
  • visitor counts at various points including access ways to beach- true reflection on popularity due to pollution


  • Stratified annotated photos. 
  • recorded interviews asking a range of stakeholders on their views od beach pollution
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Secondary data:

  • Beach water quality- Local council
  • Marine conservation society has a good beach guide- north bay was recommended, south bay- basic pass
  • coastal awards- blue flag, national costal awards, scarborough passed this. 
  • noise pollution-
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Ainsdale sand dunes- coping with pressure

  • Important for wildlife, conservation and scientific purposes
  • They are habitat to rare lizards and natterjack toads
  • The dunes are 7km squared in size 
  • found at a large tidal range 
  • Low-lying ***** of land behind a beach 
  • strong winds 


  • non-native species such as grasses invading landward edge of the area
  • visitors- trampling land, habitat loss, litter and fires
  • competing land uses around the dunes for recreational purposes
  • longshore drift has been intercepted by development of marina
  • dunes are being leveled for land development such as golf courses
  • land cleared for crops such as asparagus
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Management strategies

  • Grassland areas are being mowed to encourage growth of a variety of plants
  • Removal of dunes plantations so dune habitats are being reclaimed 
  • 1993- beach management plan to enable car free areas and car park zones
  • 1977- several artificial ponds to allow for extra breeding areas for natter-jack toads
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Sand dune formation

  • produced bu the wind
  • when wind blows across a dry sand surface, it transports sand. 
  • blown sand accumulates around inanimate objects such as driftwood, which reduce wind speeds near the ground
  • once the said is burried, sand deposition ends
  • sand dunes only form when vegetation provided the obstacle to blown sand

Conditions for dune formation:

  • Lots of sand
  • shallow offshore zone with gentle gradients 
  • onshore winds
  • backshore where sand can accumulate
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Types of plants on dunes

  • buttercup 
  • sea holly 
  • marram grass
  • sea rocket
  • sea bindweed
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  • photos
  • questionnaires
  • recorded interviews
  • Foot path erosion: systematic sampling at every 20m across 100m. At each sample point place quadrat next to foot path and record number of squares with vegetation. 
  • pedestrian count- Takes place at busy locations, record how many people pass in both directions on a tally chart. Its easy and fast to use with clear information. Flow arrows to represent data. 
  • sand dune transect- mark out transect, place ranging poles at obvious dips in slope angle. Measure slope angle with clinometer. Use qudrat to measure vegetation cover. 10 by 10. 
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  • Liverpool hope university- a study of dunes
  • local council
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Fieldwork results

  • mainly 100% of bare ground at embroyo dunes 
  • near fresh water pool, 27 different species of plant, where as at end only 1
  • recent human changes- lots of rubbish, supply of blow sand decreasing, path erosim, damage along trails, shrub invading plant areas

Secondary: liverpool hope

  • Near end of sand dunes: 100% vegetation cover, lack of human activity unlike near the end where there was none
  • not many species of plant all around- human influence
  • many areas had a mean angle of 2, but in 2000 they found it had gone up to 6. lots of erosion
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Conflict and competition in coastal developments

  • Development generates demand for space 
  • competition for space creates pressure and conflict 
  • successful management depends upon finding a balance between economic, environmental costs. 


  • Activities such as tourism, industry, agriculture and fishing as they compete for coastal space
  • conflict affects wildlife and scenic appea
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Competition and conflict in lyme bay

  • zoning is difficult to enforce in europe
  • potters and scallop dredgers- pots can get tangled in the lines of a scallop dredger
  • trawlers and scallop dredgers- fishing gear causes damage and smothers sensitive species
  • tourism and wildlife- sensitive to damage from tourists
  • potters and angling- too many fishing lines may snag sensitive species such as pink tea fans

however, all of these activities have a mutual dependence on each other

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Relieving pressure on the coast

land reclamation:

  • any process which land can be sustainabilly improved and made available for a useful purpose. 
  • This can be done by drainage of wet lands waterlogged by seasonal flooding like Hong Kong airport
  • building up land in lakes of shallow parts of the sea floor. 

Case study Tokyo bay:

  • done to provide land for agriculture
  • to provide space for other cities to accommodate 25 million people. 
  • land used for industrial developments
  • housing, airports, commercial services
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problems with reclaiming land in tokyo

  • slow down in rate of economic growth 
  • pollution of water caused by landfill used 
  • vulnerability of tow-lying land to tsunamis 
  • environmantal concerns that lost mudflat habitats and wildlife should be restored 
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Environmental costs- Dibden bay

Reasons for support:

  • more money in the local economy
  • more jobs when port is open 
  • increased efficiency of port

Objections leading to environmental costs:

  • threat to designated environmental areas
  • risk of oil spills
  • visual impact on landscape
  • dredging would be necccessary 
  • pollution 
  • traffic congestion 
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Case study: Holderness Coast line

Threats of rapid erosion:

  • Coastal erosion between bridlington and spurn head has the fastest rates of erosion. Since roman times 29 villages have been lost. 
  • erosion is due to storm waves, long-shore drift, weak coastalgeology (boulder clay)
  • Due to recent research, erosion rates are accelerating 
  • global warming- rising sea levels and more extreme storms 
  •  erosion rates over 2m per year

Cycle of erosion:

  • boulder clay becomes unsaturated with rain water
  • steep falls and a landslip occurs
  • cliff and rock create a stable angle of debris
  • storm waves remove debris in long-shore drift and it starts again.
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Threats of coastal flooding to holderness

  • Threats of storms can cause rapid flooding, or rick of overtopping defenses in low-lying areas.
  • January 1953- storms caused a flood by a deep depression which coincided with spring high sited. 300 people died
  • hull is at risk as it is low-lying and over 500, 000 people have homes below sea level
  • it is reliant on hard defenses- tidal surge barrier
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Hull tidal barrier

What is a tidal surge:

  • occurs when low pressure passes north of Scotland. This raises sea levels and moves winds in its track. Wind pushes a mound of water, giving artificial high water levels. 
  • when this happens and coincide with a spring tide, there can be catastrophic consequences

Why a barrier:

  • cheap
  • less inconvenient to river users
  • it is a prominent structure 
  • its design has been given high priority
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  • sea wall could not protect land from large waves 
  • low pressure areas had caused a huge sea to build up 


  • feb 1990- a large depression had moved south to britain. Lots of rain and strong wind 
  • Was sever depression0 951 millibars 
  • Wind whipped waves of force and height and drove them towards the welsh coast
  • towyn received this  when there was the highest tides of the year. 
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Towyn earthquake

Scale of impact:

  • railway line were being hit by large waves
  • embankment gave way, for three hours a huge surge of water flooded over the land, 500m inland. 
  • Tide of over 6m washed over the embankment flooding 105 sqkm


  • 3,000 properties were flooded
  • 1,000 people evacuated 
  • tourist trade was badly effected for several years 

Lessons learned:

  • planning permission was only given for areas above sea level
  • New housing developments were cancelled
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2004, Asian tsunami


  • low-lying islands and coasts 
  • densly populated coasts 
  • no early warning system 
  • LEDC
  • Unprepared indian coastlines 
  • women particularly vulnerable 


  • undersea mega thrust earthquake, when the indo Australian plate was being subducted beneath the Eurasian plate epi center off the west coast of sumatra 
  • indonesia earthquake triggered a series of devastating tsunamis along the coasts bordering the indian ocean . 
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Asian tsunmai

Scale of impact:

  • killed 230,000 people 
  • third largest earthquake 
  • high losses of income for fisher men
  • drinking water contaminated for years 
  • over 5 million people left homeless
  • no food or sanitation 
  • 9.0 on the richter scale
  • unprepared to cope with damage
  • no emergency supplies 
  • rivers and harbors were chocked with bodies
  • businesses destroyed 
  • diseases were spreading 
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Lessons learned:

  • international warning center was built- monitors and tracks potential tsunamis with the seismic stations spread across the pacific
  • increased technology helps issue warnings to countries
  • public awareness and education- issuing guidelines to increase public awareness,
  • local government plans for immediate supplies including safe water, food and shelter.
  • early warning systems 
  • building huge sea walls along the entire coastline would be very significant
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Coastal management- coastal defences

Flood or sea defence:

  • This applies to measures taken against the tidal hazards. This is the responsibility of the environmental agency. This is the protection of low lying areas in tidal estuaries (part of the river that is affected by low and high tides)            

Coastal protection:

  • Measures taken against erosion of the land by sea. Responsibility of local council 
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Approaches to coastal management

Hard engeneering:

  • sea walls- made of rocks or concrete used to absorb waves. They are a traditional solution to protect valuable sources however, they are very costly. 
  • groynes- rock typed that hold beach material threatened by LSD. Low capital costs and are repaired easily. However, need regular maintenance and may have wider impacts. 
  • Rip-rap- very large rocks in front of sea walls to absorb waves. 

Soft engineering: working with natural processes

  • beach nourishment- sand pumped to replace losses by LSD. Appears natural looking but can be expensive and may soon erode. 
  • 'do nothing'- land is no longer worth defending.. Saves costs but may allow problems to get worse
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Approaches to coastal management

Sustainable management: working to secure future of a coastline

  • managed retreat- incentives given to encourage re-location schemes. Cost effective, difficult to argue if residents get involved. 
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Fieldwork to assess impact of coastal defences on


  • bipolar evaluation of costal defences
  • photos
  • beach profile survey- measure angle and the size of a beach. See where there is the smallest and biggest size of beach. (systematic linear sampling)
  • Groyne measurements- measure height of sediment on either side of the groyne to assess how effective it is- (systematic linear sampling)
  • longshore drift survey- collect stones, paint, place stones mid way in water. measure movement. 
  • questionnaire- systematic sample
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Secondary data:

  • old newspapers
  • old photographs
  • old maps
  • hull university- coastal department 
  • east Yorkshire council- erosion rates 
  • GIS- measure rates of erosion. research when defences were built. Divide erosion my number of years. 

Data representation:

  • annotated site maps
  • annotated photographs
  • diagram to show natural processes 
  • bars to link depth of sediment 
  • field sketches
  • graphed questionnaires
  • spearmans rank 
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Sustainable coastal management

Integrated coastal zone management:

This is the appropriate action with which to manage various problems of the coastal zone such pollution and problems brought with changing sea level. 

There are three stages of management:

  • stage 1- understanding of coastal zone as a series of interlinked processes that leads to making a clear policy 
  • Stage 2- using knowledge to create long-term acceptable plan
  • Stage 3- Introduction of regulations to implement plan. 
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division of responsibility for the defence of the

Erosion/coast protection:

  • Managed by district councils- 1949 coastal protection act 

Flooding/coastal flood defence:

  • Managed by environmental agency


  • Coastal defence through policy and budget control- they gice out grant for schemes 
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Weaknesses of UK responsibility system

  • fragmented management lacks clear guidelines
  • lack on central government body to manage conflicting demand
  • Often little control results in lack of action 
  • lack of pro-active management. 
  • current law does not treat problems of coast as an integrated whole. 
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Shore line management plans

this a strategy for a coastal defence for a specified length of coast which takes account of environmental influences and needs. 

It recognises natural processes which operate on the coast- especially the sediment cells. 

Advantages of  SMPS: 

  • councils have to work together in the framework of the cell, not separately for their own small stretch of coast. 

Sediment cells:

  • sediment moves freely with in a cell. there is erosion, deposition and transportation. But sediment doesn't move between different sediment cells. 
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Smp's strategies

  • to improve peoples understanding of coastal processes
  • to set up long term planning of sustainable coastal defences 
  • acknowledge the dynamic nature of the coast. 
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Four options for SMP'S

  • Do nothing- no action other than monitor a situation
  • retreat- pull back land, set up a new line of defences further inland
  • hold the line- maintain the present line of defence 
  • advance the line- build forward 

Holderness coast chose hold the line as it meets more economic and environmental criteria such as: 

protection towns activities, economically viable, environmentally acceptable. 

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Sustainable Coastal Management case study- Paull h

Why was Paull Holmes suitable:

  • flat 
  • low-lying 
  • much human impact
  • risk of flooding
  • rising sea levels as a result of global warming 
  • estuary location ideal for salt marsh formation

Managed retreat in this place:

Involves abandoning existing sea defences . A new line of defences is set back inland. Creates a new area between old and new defences. 

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Adv's and dv's of using this management strategy


  • cheap
  • works with nature
  • sustaibable
  • farm land is flooded- low value
  • creates ecosystems


  • farm land is lost
  • local opposition
  • not suitable everywhere
  • small scale 
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Mr A Gibson


A real strength of this set of cards is that they cover and awful lot of information in an interesting and accessible way. There are case studies, examples and they are contrasting ones as required by specifications. If you are studying coast - this is for you!

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