Investigating the Geographical Processes that are Affecting the Physical and Built Coastal Environment

Investigating the Geographical Processes that are Affecting the Physical and Built Coastal Environment
Investigating the Geographical Processes that are Affecting the Physical and Built Coastal Environment
There are three geographical processes that are affecting the physical
and built coastal environment, they are; erosion, deposition, and
transportation. Erosion is the group of natural processes, including
weathering, dissolution, abrasion, corrosion, and transportation, by
which material is worn away from the earth?s surface, this is mainly
caused by wind, running water, and waves breaking on the coast.
Deposition is the depositing something or the laying down of matter by
a natural process. Transportation is when sand is moved along the
coast by long shore drift.At North Cronulla beach erosion is evident. It is being managed by the local council in two different ways. These include; a rip-rap wall, dune stabilization. The rip-rap wall consists of large rocks which have been piled up at an angle. Behind the rip-rap wall the land use is mainly commercial, but there is also some residential land-use. This method has been used because human land-use is right on top of the ocean, and in order to defend these buildings a hard option is required. There are many things working together to ensure Dune stabilization. These include; re-vegetation, fences, poly-mesh fencing, planked walkways, and controlled pedestrian access. This method is a softer option than the rip-rap wall and is used because human land-use, which at this place consists mainly of recreational buildings, is far away from the ocean. Deposition is also being managed at North Cronulla beach. Dune stabilization is being used to prevent deposited material from being eroded away. The plants hold the dunes together with their roots, fences ensure that the plants will not be trampled by pedestrians, ploy-mesh fencing holds deposited sand so that it will not be eroded away, and planked walkways also prevent sand from being eroded. After the erosion of Cronulla beaches in 1974, the University of New South Wales designed a new wall. It is made up primarily of interlocking hexagonal concrete blocks which way about a tonne each, which are called ?sea bees?. It also has flexible cages, 6m x 2m x 0.5m, which are made from galvanized steel and act as a first line of defence against the waves. Above the concrete blocks, is found a foot path, followed by a grassed embankment. The sea bees have holes in them to absorb and stop wave energy, and to hold sand in place. The sea bees have been built at a slope to absorb wave energy, not to deflect it. The land-use behind the sea wall is primarily residential. This method was used to combat the massive waves that hit the beach in storms. Deposition is managed once again by dune stabilization. However there aren?t as many poly-mesh fences or walkways as at North Cronulla beach, there are a lot of bins though. This method was used because it helps to build up the beach and to minimize erosion. At Wanda beach dune stabilization is used again. It consists mainly of vegetation, but the evidence of poorly kept fences can be seen. The dune profile of Wanda beach suggests that it is healthy. This can imply that dune stabilization has been successful. There is very little land-use behind Wanda beach, that is why this method has been used. It is obvious that Wanda beach is not very well looked after. This beach is not very well-managed because of two things, it is not very popular, and there is very little land use behind it. I do not know in what ways, if any, that transportation is being managed in either of these places.

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