15 coastal processes exercise part c coastal engineering and coastal erosion
Part C of this exercise involves examination of locations in Google Earth Pro (Google Earth (Links to an external site.)) where there are examples of human modification of coastlines to control sand movement and accumulation, and also where coastal erosion resulting from either hurricane damage to barrier islands or erosion of cliffs by wave activity and storms. can be observed
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The aim in exploring examples of coastal engineering is once again is to describe how specific feature (groins, breakwaters, jetties) modify the movement of sand, with explicit reference to the features visible in the chosen images that show the effect of coastal modification. There are three questions on this topic in Part C, concerning groins, breakwaters, and jetties, respectively, and the information below provides suggestions of locations followed by images of one of each of the three sets of example locations.
The first series of locations (name and latitude, longitude) show instances where groins influence the erosion and accumulation of sand helpful in answering the first question:
- Hayling Island near Portsmouth in southern England (50° 46′ 50″ N, 0° 58′ 03″W) – shown below
- Coast of Suffolk near Southwold (52° 20′ 08″ N, 1° 41′ 14″E)
- Quarteira, Portugal (37° 03′ 53″ N, 8° 05′ 49″ W)
The second series of locations (name and latitude, longitude) show instances where breakwaters the erosion and accumulation of sand helpful in answering the second question:
- Louisiana coastline (29° 46′ 01″N, 93° 29′ 38″ W to 29° 45′ 13″N, 93° 36′ 36″ W)
- Coast of Egypt west of Alexandria (31° 05′ 34″N, 29° 43′ 22″E)
- Palombina, Ancona, Italy (43° 37′ 03″N, 13° 26′ 05″E) – shown below
- Norfolk coast, England (52° 47′ 42″N, 1° 35′ 49″E)
Finally, the third series of locations (name and latitude, longitude) show instances where there are inlets created by jetties helpful in answering the third question:
Example 1: Groins at Hayling Island near Portsmouth in southern England
Example 2: Breakwaters along the coastline at Palombina, Ancona, Italy
Example 3: Jetties at Isla Cristina, Spain
The second topic in this exercise explores coastal erosion resulting from hurricane damage to barrier islands and erosion of cliffs by wave activity and storms.
The first question (Question 4) in this section of the exercise examines the series of images from 1993 to 2013 for the barrier island north of Cape Hatteras that was breached by Hurricane Irene:
- Pea Island, Cape Hatteras (35° 41′ 04″ N, 75° 28′ 58″W) – images from 2011 to 2013 are shown below.
This question can also be answered by examining the series of images from 1998 to 2008 for the barrier island east of New Orleans that was breached by Hurricane Katrina:
- Chandeleur Island, Gulf of Mexico (29° 54′ 35″ N, 88° 49′ 53″W)
The final question in this exercise examines coastal erosion along the cliffs of Suffolk and Norfolk in England and can be answered by exploration of images for any of the following locations:
- Coast near Bawdsey, Suffolk (52° 00′ 21″ N, 1° 25′ 52″ E) – a video of erosion at this site was shown in Module 14 within the topic Sediment Sources and Erosion – see images from 2000 to 2008 below
- North of Southwold (52° 20′ 40″ N, 1° 41′ 22″ E). Compare the images since 1945.
- Happisburgh, Norfolk, England (52° 49′ 21″ N, 1° 32′ 24″ E). Compare the images for 1999 and 2009.
Example 1: Pea Island, Cape Hatteras – changes from 3/2011 to 8/2013
Example 2: Suffolk coast near Bawdsey – changes from 12/2000 to 12/2008
Question 1 5 pts
A strong answer will designate locations according to latitude & longitude in Google Earth that provide illustrations of the effect of groins on the longshore drift of sand. Specific reference will be made to particular aspects of the image(s) – e.g. the sites of sand erosion and accumulation relative to the groins, the evidence of the direction of sand movement – that illustrate how groins affect longshore drift of sand.
Question 2 5 pts
Explain the effect of breakwaters on sand movement (longshore drift) along coastlines making explicit use of images from Google Earth to illustrate your answer.
A strong answer will designate locations according to latitude & longitude in Google Earth that provide visual examples that help explain how breakwaters change the sites of erosion and accumulation of sand. Specific reference will be made to particular features in the image(s) – e.g. differences in sand build-up where breakwaters are present – that exemplify the affect of breakwaters on sand migration via longshore drift.
Question 3 5 pts
Explain the role that jetties play in providing access to harbors and inland waterways by changing the sites of erosion and deposition of sand along coastlines by making explicit use of images from Google Earth to illustrate your answer.
A strong answer will designate locations according to latitude & longitude in Google Earth that provide visual illustrations of the effect of jetties on longshore drift. Specific reference will be made to aspects of the features of jetties in the chosen image(s) – e.g. changes in sites of sand accumulation, the direction of sand movement – that exemplify the effect of jetties on coastal sand movement.
Question 4 5 pts
Explain how hurricanes can cause breaches in barrier islands or erode them using the images from Google Earth of the region of Pea Island north of Cape Hatteras which illustrates the breach created by Hurricane Irene, or the changes in Chandeleur Island in the Gulf of Mexico after Hurricane Katrina.
A strong answer will designate locations according to latitude & longitude in Google Earth that provide visual complements that aid explanation of the potential impact of hurricanes on barrier islands. Specific reference will be made to aspects of the features in the image(s) – e.g. the site and size of the breach and/or changes associated with erosion – that illustrate the vulnerability of barrier islands to hurricanes.
Question 5 5 pts
Explain, citing specific examples from Suffolk or Norfolk or elsewhere, how images from Google Earth provide evidence that helps identify sites along coastal cliffs where erosion is occurring and describe the rates and outcomes of this process.
A strong answer will designate locations according to latitude & longitude in Google Earth that provide visual examples of cliff erosion, which can also include reference to any engineering measures observed in the images that are designed to mitigate the erosion. Specific reference will be made to aspects of the features in the image(s) – e.g. evidence of erosion in the form of subsidence or collapse, or evidence of protective structures, and the timing of the changes observed – that exemplify either the process of erosion and/or efforts to limit its impact and damage.