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Igcse geography coastal environments fieldwork

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  • 1. Page 1 IGCSE Geography Fieldwork Coastal Environments Introduction Fieldwork enquiry Theme A Beach measurements & Beach profiling Theme B Management of a pressured coastline
  • 2. Page 2 Introduction Shoreham has a long history of development and is currently in the middle of a 2007 initiated regeneration project aimed at re-stimulating the area and its commercial operations. Clearly with such an investment project there is a need to ensure that the physical environment is protected. This protection has to meet the twin and often opposing issues of conserving the environment and protecting the physical integrity of the coastline. The more that is invested in the onshore infrastructure, the more important of course the physical protection of the coast becomes. Locational context Recent Regeneration ideas (from shorehamharbour.com – umbrella website for the redevelopment) Historically, previous attempts to create development in the Shoreham Port area have been unsuccessful because they haven’t addressed local community needs and there has been a funding gap which has not allowed the investment in infrastructure needed for an increase in housing and jobs. To this end, Adur District Council, Brighton and Hove City Council and West Sussex County Council, working with Shoreham Port Authority, SEEDA*, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and other agencies are working in partnership to achieve much needed economic, social and infrastructure improvements along this stretch of coast. A large-scale regeneration including the provision of new jobs and housing, as well as the new facilities and infrastructure needed to serve the area, is being proposed. The geography for the project addresses a much larger area than previous ones - roughly from Hove Lagoon to Shoreham, including the whole Port, but also including a lot of areas north of the A259 along the way. In July 2009, the Shoreham Harbour Regeneration Project was affected by Government cut backs and the project was slowed down. However, in October 2009, the three Councils involved took control of the project, agreeing to create the first Joint Committee of its kind locally to take forward regeneration plans. The
  • 3. Page 3 partnership is working closely with Shoreham Port, the Environment Agency and other agencies to bring about an approved Joint Area Action Plan in 2012. The partnership aims to have a range of options for Shoreham Harbour ready for public consultation in the summer of 2010 *SEEDA = South East England Development Agency
  • 4. Page 4 Fieldwork in Shoreham Harbour Protecting Shoreham coastline Given the plans for the future as stated above it is important that the coastal protection fulfils the needs of the area. We will therefore investigate the issue of coastal protection in this area of pressured coastline. There are two parts to our study: Theme A How do the coastal protection techniques used at Shoreham affect the beaches in the area? Theme B What are people’s views in the area of the coastal protection? Background on coastal protection methods There are many ways that we can manage the interface between the coast and the land and the methods chosen will fit the cost benefit analysis conducted locally. Broadly there are 2 sub-divisions: Soft Engineering - is the use of ecological principles and practices to reduce erosion and achieve the stabilization and safety of shorelines Hard Engineering - defined as controlled disruption of natural processes by using man- made structures Soft Engineering (internetgeography.net) Technique Description Advantage Disadvantage Approximate Cost Beach nourishment Beaches are made higher and wider by importing sand and shingle to an area affected by longshore drift. Cheap, retains the natural appearance of the beach and preserves the natural appearance of the beach. Off shore dredging of sand and shingle increases erosion in other areas and affects the ecosystem. Large storms will require beach replenishment, increasing costs. £20 /cu.m Managed retreat This is when areas of coast are allowed to erode. This is usually in areas where the land is of low value. Managed retreat retains the natural balance of the coastal system. Eroded material encourages the development of beaches and salt marshes. People lose their livelihood e.g. farmers. These people will need to be compensated. Depends on amount of compensation that needs to be paid to people affected by erosion. Hard Engineering (internetgeography.net)
  • 5. Page 5 Description Advantage Disadvantage Approximate Cost Groynes Groynes are wooden barriers constructed at right angles to the beach to retain material. Material is trapped between these groynes and cannot be transported away by longshore drift. Groynes encourage a wide beach which helps absorb energy from waves, reducing the rate of cliff erosion. Cheap, retain wide sandy beaches and do not affect access to the beach. Beaches to the south of the defences are starved of beach material due to their affect on long shore drift. £7000 each Sea Walls Sea walls are usually built along the front of cliffs, often to protect settlements. They are often recurved which means waves are reflected back on themselves. This can cause the erosion of material at the base of the sea wall. Provide excellent defence where wave energy is high, reassures the public and long life span. Expensive, can affect beach access, recurved sea walls can increase the erosion of beach material. £3000- 4000/m Reventments Traditionally these have been wooden slatted barriers constructed towards the rear of beaches to protect the base of cliffs. Energy from waves is dissipated by them breaking against the revetments. In recent times concrete revetments such as accropodes have been used in places such as Scarborough. Less beach material is eroded compared to a sea wall. Cheaper and less intrusive than a sea wall. Short life span and unsuitable where wave energy is high. £2000/m Rock armour / boulder barriers These are often large boulders placed along the base of a cliff to absorb energy from waves. Cheap and efficient Unattractive, dangerous access to beach, costs increase when rock is £3000/m
  • 6. Page 6 imported. Gabions This is where rocks and boulders are encased in wired mesh. They absorb the energy from waves. Cheap and efficient. Shorter life span than a sea wall. Visually unattractive. £100/m Off-shore breakwater These are large concrete blocks and boulders located off shore to change the direction of waves and reduce longshore drift. They also help absorb wave energy. Beaches retain natural appearance. Difficult to maintain, unattractive, does not protect the cliffs directly and does not stop beach material from being eroded.
  • 7. Page 7 Fieldwork enquiry – overview of the sequence All field work enquiries should allow you to follow this sequence (i) Formulating aims and hypotheses The hypotheses may investigate a geographical concept e.g. ‘A CBD has the highest concentration of comparison shops’. Collecting relevant data, analysis and drawing conclusions using the data as evidence can test these. (ii) Enquiry skills to collect data You will need to be aware of a range of methods to gather primary data. Questionnaires – Questionnaires can be oral or written to gain information from an individual or a group of individuals. Consideration should be given to factors influencing the successful design of questionnaires e.g. layout, format of questions, the appropriate wording of questions and the number of questions. The practical considerations of conducting a questionnaire e.g. the sampling methods, pilot survey, and location of survey should also be discussed. Observation – Examples of using observations as an enquiry skill to collect data include the recording of land use in an urban area or observations of river or coastal features. Counts – Pedestrian and traffic counts are two significant examples of this enquiry skill. Measurement – When recording measurements, due consideration should be given to planning the layout of the recording sheet, the location of instruments and the sampling methods adopted to provide reliable data. Knowledge of the equipment used in measurement is required such as the quadrat, the clinometer and the pebbleometer or callipers. For example; beach studies of beach profile, the size and shape of pebbles and the movement of beach material and weather study instruments closely linked to (iii) Data presentation techniques This should include various types of graphs, maps and diagrams for example line graphs, bar graphs, divided bar graphs, histograms, flow diagrams, wind rose graphs, isoline maps and scattergraphs. (iv) Analysis You should be able to describe the patterns in data presented in graphs and tables of results. Reference to relevant geographical knowledge and understanding is often required in the interpretation of the data. (v) Formation of Conclusions You should be able to make judgements on the validity of the original hypothesis or aims of the assignment. Reference is also required of the reliability of the collected data and a critical evaluation of the chosen data collection methods.
  • 8. Page 8 Theme A What impact do the coastal protection methods at Shoreham have on the beaches in the area? Formulating the aim or hypothesis: “Groynes have no impact on beach profile or beach material” Enquiry skills to collect data Action #1 Field Sketch Even in this day and age with cameras on our phones you need to be able to do field sketches – a field sketch is used to highlight the significant things in the field of view that you would want to annotate. On the blank page (Appendix 1) produce a field sketch to show the profile of the beach – you should try in 3 dimensions. If you have the capacity then take some photos or video too. To be able to draw any conclusion about whether or not the groynes influence the beach morphology we need to know what the shape of the beach is…. (i) Beach profile by clinometers Equipment Tape measure Ranging poles Clinometer Compass Recording sheet Methodology 1. Select sampling points for beach profiles across the width of the beach. 2. At each sample point in turn, place a ranging pole at the start and finish (at A and H on the diagram). Point A should ideally be the low tide mark, or as close to this as is safe.
  • 9. Page 9 3. Note the main changes in slope angle up the beach, and use them to inform the ‘sections' for the profile. (A through to H on the diagram) 4. For each change in slope, use the clinometer to take a bearing to record the slope angle (ii). For example, from point A to point B in the diagram below. It is important to ensure that the bearing is taken from a point on the ranging pole that coincides with the eye level of the person using the clinometer. Many ranging poles have stripes which can be used for this purpose. Alternatively, bearings can be taken from the eye level of a person of a similar height holding the ranging pole. 5. Measure the distance along the ground of the section (i), and record this information alongside the slope angle. 6. Repeat processes (4) and (5) for each break in slope that you have identified Figure 1 Ranging pole – systematic or variable intervals? Pantometers can be used by one person, and the slope can be surveyed systematically at regular, short intervals Figure 2 Using a clinometer to measure the angle of a beach profile.
  • 10. Page 10 Considerations and possible limitations Varying tidal conditions can affect access and safety. Make sure you check tide times before you embark on your fieldwork. Low tide is the best time to measure beach profiles, but places a time constraint on the activity. This can be overcome if groups of students complete profiles at different locations simultaneously and share their results. It is important to ensure that the ranging poles are held straight and prevented from sinking into sand, both of which may affect angle readings. Sampling technique is an important consideration. A balance needs to be struck between time available and the need for a number of profiles across the width of the beach to ensure the validity of results. There may be some user error when taking readings with a clinometer, and the sophistication of models of clinometer can vary enormously. If using a pantometer, this piece of equipment must be kept vertical when taking readings. Action #2 Beach Survey After your equipment briefing, organize your group and use the graph paper (Appendix 1) to record your data. One study area will work in an area of groynes; the other will work in a less protected area. (ii) Beach material analysis (fabric analysis) To be able to draw any conclusion about whether or not the groynes influence the beach fabric we need to know how the beach material varies…. Equipment Clear ruler, pebble meter or stone-board Roundness or angularity charts / indexes Recording sheet Quadrats (optional) Random number table (optional) Methodology
  • 11. Page 11 At each sampling point 1. Reach down with the index finger extended and select the first pebble it touches. 2. Measure the length of the longest axis on this pebble. 3. Repeat this process, perhaps 10 times per location or as you decide after your piloting 4. Analyse your findings using a roundness index or chart. There are various charts and indexes for analysing the roundness or angularity of pebbles, including the different sediment shape and roundness indexes developed by Powers, Cailleux and Zingg. Information about these various methods can be found on the Science Education Resource Center website. We will be measuring the pebbles and assessing their Power’s & Cailleux. Considerations and possible limitations Using the data within an investigation If using Cailleux, the roundness index for each location can be calculated by using the formula: R = 2r x 1000 / L where R = Cailleux roundness r = average radius of curvature (obtained from chart) L = average length of pebbles (in sample) Thought should be given to the sampling technique used to ensure that a representative sample is obtained. Quadrats can be used to select sediment for sampling. Alternatively, ten surface pebbles touching your foot can be selected at each location. There are many different methods of sampling sediment. The different methods should be analysed by the researcher and an informed decision made as to which is the most appropriate for the aims of the investigation. Considerations and possible limitations Consideration needs to be given to the size of the sample and the method used to select pebbles in order to avoid bias. The use of visual charts such as Power's can be subjective - one person's opinions on the roundness or angularity of a pebble may differ from another's. Deciding on the sampling strategy is very important in reducing subjectivity and increasing the validity of results. A sampling method should always be adopted to avoid the temptation to ‘select' the pebbles! Random requires a “3 rd party” selector – a coin or dice for example,
  • 12. Page 12 Systematic requires a regular interval “Every third pebble”, Stratified requires a deliberate selection – say for example from one side or another Sample size should be large enough to provide a representative sample of the ‘parent population', yet not too large to be unmanageable. The sharpest point of a stone must be measured when using the Cailleux scale and judgement of this may vary from person to person creating subjectivity. In reality, using Power's scale will reveal mostly class 5 / 6. Anything which may affect the results should be noted, e.g. recent storms or management structures which may alter the composition of beach material. Action #3 Measuring beach material Along your beach profile survey the sediment fabric; (a) record Cailleux (x, y, z axis) and (b) Power’s scale Appendix 4 can be used to record this data
  • 13. Page 13 Theme B Surveying peoples’ views on the management of the coast at Shoreham (& Lancing). Surveying peoples’ views is a staple of human geographical investigation and a technique that is used frequently in many professions to gauge responses; from politicians to users of anti-dandruff shampoo. In this instance we are interested in finding our how the people of the local are view the coastal protection. Clearly in an area where the coast is retreating we may illicit more powerful responses than in this location. The issue here is the commercial, residential and industrial value of the land and the need to protect it. Action #4 Questionnaires The questionnaire can be found in Appendix 4. In pairs you will need to conduct the questionnaire with as many people as possible in the period of time designated to you. Please make sure that you keep safe and contactable at all times. DO NOT JOIN UP INTO A LARGER GROUP – THIS IS INTIMIDATING TO OTHERS AND THEREFORE VERY UNFAIR ON THE LOCAL PEOPLE – who after all you are wanting to get information from. You should aim to complete 30 questionnaires per pair You will have already experienced creating questionnaires so this time you must consider the following issues surrounding their implementation: Sampling – stick to one sample method (random, systematic or stratified) The problems and limitations of the questionnaire and carrying out the surveys. Methods for recording responses Risk Assessment By now you should be able to construct your own RA: ACTUAL HAZARD X POTENTIAL FREQUENCY = RISK
  • 14. Page 14 Appendix 1 Field Sketch
  • 15. Page 15 Appendix 2 Beach profile data
  • 16. Page 16 Appendix 3 Power’s scale
  • 17. Page 17 Appendix 4 Pebble data
  • 18. Page 18 Appendix 5 Questionnaire – all students to complete the same questionnaire to allow all responses to be collated Record Gender (M/F) 1. Age Age grouping School age 18 – 25 26 - 30 31 - 45 46 - 55 55- retirement Retired (age) 2. Work If you are working, how would you classify your job? 3. Income bracket? Benefits <16, 000 Between 16,000 & 20,000 20k – 25k 25k – 30k 30k – 35k 35k – 40k 40k – 45k 4. Residence Are you local (Shoreham to Lancing), if not please state 5. Opener on Sea defences Are you aware of the sea defences along the coast here from Lancing to Shoreham. ( if no then record that and STOP questionnaire) 6. View on the Sea defences Question Strongly agree Stongly disagree
  • 19. Page 19 10 0 -10 The sea defences are neceassary The money used should have been used for something else (if they offer an alternative record it) The sea defences are unisghtly The beaches have been imprved by the sea defences They should have used a different method
  • 20. Page 20 Appendix 6 Questionnaire responses – devise your own method for recording the data ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________