1) The Importance of Coasts.

Task 1:

Throughout history, coasts have played an essential role in peoples lives. Can you explain why coasts are so important to people and how we use them? Write a short text ( 200 words) explaining why coastlines have been so important throughout human history. Make sure you give examples wherever possible.

“Because of the economic benefits that accrue from access to ocean navigation, coastal fisheries, tourism and recreation, human settlements are often more concentrated in the coastal zone than elsewhere. Presently about 40% of the world’s population lives within 100 kilometers of the coast. As population density and economic activity in the coastal zone increases, pressures on coastal ecosystems increase. Among the most important pressures are habitat conversion, land cover change, pollutant loads, and introduction of invasive species. These pressures can lead to loss of biodiversity, coral reef bleaching, new diseases among organisms, hypoxia, harmful algal blooms, siltation, reduced water quality, and a threat to human health through toxins in fish and shellfish and pathogens such as cholera and hepatitis A residing in polluted water. Finally, it is important to recognize that a high population concentration in the lowelevation coastal zone (defined as less than 10 meters elevation) increases a country’s vulnerability to sea-level rise and other coastal hazards such as storm surges.” extract from UN sustainable development report on coastlines.


A plastic tide:

What can we learn about Coasts and Oceans from this video. Waves, currents, waste, pollution, settlement……… .

2) Waves



How Waves Are Made

Task 2:

Why are the Waves at Teahupoo so good for surfing? Using the information here and elsewhere on the web you are to explain why Teahupoo is so good for surfing. Use geographical terminology, maps and diagrams in your answer.


  • Prevailing wind:
  • Reef
  • Fetch
  • Wind strength
  • Wind duration

Constructive and Destructive Waves:


constructive and destructive waves.gif

Task 3:

a) Look at the four photographs below. Insert each photograph into a separate PowerPoint slide. You may use another software package if you prefer.

b) Using the information here and on pages 139-141 of your text book you are to annotate (label) the photographs using as many geographical and descriptive terms as you. Use the vocab list below to help you.


  • Swash (strong or weak)
  • Backwash (strong or weak)
  • Constructive Wave
  • Destructive Wave
  • Beach (steep, gentle, sandy, rocky)
  • Crest
  • Trough
  • Wavelength
  • Wave height
  • Wave frequency

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Photograph 1: Near Christchurch, NZ

Photograph 2. South Island, New Zealand

Photograph 3: Byron Bay, New South Wales, AUS

Photograph 4: Unknown bay on West Coast of South Island New Zealand


Exam Questions:

1) Describe two charachteristics of constructive waves.

2) Describe two characteristics of destructive waves.


3) Coastal Processes and Landforms

Coastal Erosion, Transport and Deposition:

Everything you need to know about the processes can be found on this GeoBytes page.


This is a good, if rather old fashioned video on coastal processes.

Processes of Coastal Erosion:

Make sure you know these by heart.

1. Attrition:

  • “Rock on rock”
  • Particles carried by the waves crash against each other and are broken up into smaller particles.

2. Corrasion (also known as abrasion):

  • “Rock on cliff”
  • Particles carried by the waves crash against the cliffs, eroding the cliffs.

3. Corrosion:

  • “Rusting / dissolving”
  • Salt in the seawater slowly dissolves the cliffs.
  • The material produced is carried away by the process of solution.

4. Hydraulic Action:

  • “Pressuring”
  • The water traps air in cracks and caves in the rock.
  • This air is compressed by the incoming waves placing great pressure on the rocks, causing them to crack eventually.

5. Wave Pounding:

  • “Smashing”
  • Steep waves have great energy, which is released forward as they break against the cliffs.
  • Constant pounding can cause great damage to both natural cliffs, and man-made sea defences.
  • In storm conditions the waves may create up to 30 tonnes per square metre of pressure.

6. Sub-Aerial processes:

  • The impact of rainwater, wind and frost on the cliffs.
  • Rainwater can cause surface erosion.
  • Frost shattering can occur in colder climates.
  • Rainwater can also increase the chances of mass movement occurring.
  • Wind (Aeolian) erosion can aid in the erosion of the cliffs.

from s-cool.co.uk

Task 4:

Illustrate all of the process above in a labelled diagram.

Landforms of Coastal Erosion:


Task 5:

1) Use Google maps or Google earth, take a few minutes to explore this region of coastline. It is part of the Jurassic Coast, a world heritage site, famous for fossils and dramatic headlands and bays. Have a look at the Jurassic Coast website by clicking on the image below.

Jurassic Coast.PNG

2) Click on interactive panorama below, sketch each feature of erosion you can see and then write a paragraph to explain the formation of each. You must hand sketch and label each feature.

Harrys Rocks Image.PNG

3) Use the Jurassic Coast website to explain why the tourist industry has developed there. Give examples of the area’s physical and human attractions.

Exam Questions:

1) Give three pieces of evidence that coastal erosion has occured along the Jurassic Coast (See the links above) (3 marks)

2) Explain why coastal erosion is much more rapid on some coasts than others.

(5 marks)

High Energy coastal Environments Field Work:

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Longshore Drift:


Task 6

1) Use a labelled diagram to describe and explain the process of Longshore drift.

Page 143 in the textbook will help

Landforms of Coastal Deposition:


Task 7:

1) Read pages 140-149 in your textbook

2) Answer question 1 (a-f) on page 144 and question 2 on page 146.

Exam Questions:

1) Describe the main features of a spit. (4 marks)

2) Explain the formation of a spit. (5 marks)

Beach and low Energy Coastal Environments Fieldwork

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Task 8) Coastal protection and Management:

Click on the link above and work through the,’Hard and Soft Engineering,’ section and the,’Coastal Managemet Case Study,’ on geographyalltheway.com.

Coastal Management Fieldwork
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Task 9) Salt Marshes:

1) Using the resources here and the information on page 156 of your text book. Complete task 4 on page 156.

The Salt Marshes at Aberlady, East Lothian, Scotland

2) Explain why many people believe that Salt Marshes are an excellent way to reduce coastal flooding.

Task 10) Sand Dunes:

1) Click on the link above and complete the Sand Dunes worksheet. The links below will also help you.


Sand Dune Field Work

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2) Read page 159 and 161 in your book and answer question 5 a-c on page 160 and question 6 on page 161. Describe the photograph carefully, include all of the coastal features, physical and human.

Task 11) Mangroves:


1) Take a virtual tour of the Mangroves What is a mangrove and where are they found?

2) Why are Mangroves important?

A National Geographic Article and Gallery on Mangroves in Bangladesh

3) Click on the image and use the information in the article to explain the threats the Magrove forests around the world?

Task 12) Coral Reefs:



GeoBytes Coastal Revision Page: Lots of good information and revision exercises.

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