Coastal Geomorphology

Define the coastal zone
"The area between the landward limit of marine influence and the seaward limit of terrestrial influence" (Carter, 1988)
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What forms of energy influence the coastal zone?
Endogenetic (from within the Earth); Exogenetic (solar energy) and Gravitational forces.
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What are the 4 forms of classification used to describe a system?
Morphological (materials and form); Cascading (flow of energy/matter); Ecosystem (interactions between plants and animals within an environment) & Our focus- Process-response (Form is product of processes in the system).
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Describe the various forms of feedback and why they take place
Positive- increases the effects of a change to a system. Negative- decreases the effects of a change to a system. Both occur as a system attempts to maintain a state of equilibrium.
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Describe the forms of equilibrium found in coastal zones
Steady state (energy and form do not vary much from long term averages); Meta-stable (environment can have 2 or more states of equilibrium); Dynamic (a gradual change in equilibrium changes the system to another level i.e. succession)
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Give some examples of further qualitative descriptions that can be used to assess coasts
Geology (rock type, direction of geological structures to coastline); Genetic (how formed); Tectonic (plate boundary); Submerged vs. emergent; Primary (non-marine processes) vs. Secondary (marine processes and organisms)
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What are submerged coasts?
Drowned river and glacial valleys
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When are emergent coasts formed?
Following isostatic recovery of a landmass- relative sea level falls
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How do Atlantic and Pacific coasts differ?
Atlantic- coastline runs across the general trend of geological structures e.g. UK, Europe. Pacific - coast runs parallel to the geology e.g. North and South America.
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What is a neutral coastline?
Where evidence can be found of both submergence and emergence
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What are the two forms of a submergant coast?
Ria coast= unglaciated- drowned river valleys- v-shaped valleys with shallow water. Fjord coast- previously glaciated- deeply inundated with u-shaped valleys >100 m in depth
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What are the three categories of tectonic coasts? Provide a brief description of each one.
Leading edge coasts(continental + oceanic plates collide e.g. Western American seaboard); trailing edge coasts(plates move apart+sea inundates passive continental margin e.g.Red sea); marginal sea coasts(plate convergence offshore e.g.Gulf of Mexico
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Describe the sections of a typical beach working from the cliffs to the offshore area
Cliffs, backshore, high tide line, intertidal zone (between mean high and mean low water), foreshore (exposed at low tide), low tide mark, high tide breaker line, nearshore (surf and swash zone), low tide breaker line, offshore zone.
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How is coastal terminology assigned to various coastlines?
Based on the morphological changes or wave processes observed
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Why is there a continuum in landform development?
All states can exist at the same time
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What are the 4 temporal mechanisms for changes described by Cowell and Thorn 1994?
Instantaneous(e.g. caused by ripples); Event(recurrent processes that occur frequently e.g.tides); Engineering(occurs over several decades and combines events); geological(changes thought to be occurring using palaeoenvironmental evidence).
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Card 2

Front

What forms of energy influence the coastal zone?

Back

Endogenetic (from within the Earth); Exogenetic (solar energy) and Gravitational forces.

Card 3

Front

What are the 4 forms of classification used to describe a system?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Describe the various forms of feedback and why they take place

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Describe the forms of equilibrium found in coastal zones

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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