investigate the morphological differences between sedimentary coasts and cliffed coasts for both continental and oceanic island locations
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RESEARCHING THE GEOLOGICAL AND OCEANOGRAPHIC CONTROLS ON
GLOBAL COASTAL TYPES
Assessment: Satisfactory Completion – Submit Report via Turnitin Link on
ENVS811 ilearn website, due date and time, 6 am 31st August, 2016
1. Antecedent controls on coastal and shelf morphology
The geological evolution of continents and islands has a primary control on the
type of coastline (eg. Low sandy barrier coast, coastal strandplain, high cliffed
coast, delta coast, embayed coast, open coast, sandy, muddy or carbonate
sediment coast). The wave climate and tidal regime also determine the
morphology of the coast.
Your task is to investigate the morphological differences between sedimentary
coasts and cliffed coasts for both continental and oceanic island locations. Define
the geological and oceanographic controls that have determined the evolution of
these global coastal types. Research the provided literature and use the web to
search for information. It is suggested that you compare and contrast the eastern
and western Australian coast with the Californian, USA coast. Also compare a
south-east Asian muddy coast with an oceanic island coast. Prepare a short
report and include a table describing the morphological, process and biological
differences for each coastal type.
Suggested starting references and web links:
USGS > Coastal and Marine Geology Program > Research > Understanding
Coastal Change (http://marine.usgs.gov/research/coastal-change.php)
USGS Reports, use the section on ‘Geologic history and setting’ in:
Hapke, C.J., Reid, D., Richmond, B.M., Ruggiero, P., and List, J., 2006,
National assessment of shoreline change: Part 3: Historical shoreline
changes and associated coastal land loss along the sandy shorelines of
the California coast: U.S. Geological Survey Open-file Report 2006-1219.
Hapke, C.J., and Reid, D., 2007, National Assessment of Shoreline Change,
Part 4: Historical Coastal Cliff Retreat along the California Coast: U.S.
Geological Survey Open-file Report 2007-1133.
Stul T, Gozzard JR, Eliot IG and Eliot MJ (2015) Coastal Sediment Cells for the
Vlamingh Region between Cape Naturaliste and Moore River, Western Australia.
Report prepared by Seashore Engineering Pty Ltd and Geological Survey of
Western Australia for the Western Australian Department of Transport,
Eastern Australia Continental Shelf Bathymetry and Surficial Sediments
Jordan, A. et al. (2010). Section 4. Bathymetry and surficial sediments. Seabed
habitat mapping of the continental shelf of NSW. Department of Environment,
Climate Change and Water NSW (DECCW), Sydney, NSW.
Ramsay, D., (2011) Island Types and Coastal Landforms , In, ‘Coastal erosion and
inundation due to climate change in the Pacific and East Timor’, NIWA, New
Gombos, M., Ramsay, D., Webb, A., Marra, J., Atkinson, S., & Gorong, B. (Eds.).
(2014). Coastal Change in the Pacific Islands, Volume One: A Guide to Support
Community Understanding of Coastal Erosion and Flooding Issues. Pohnpei,
Federated States of Micronesia: Micronesia Conservation Trust.
2. Coastal sediments – type and source
Coastal sediment type varies in lithology and grain size, depending upon the
geological plate tectonic setting. For each of the continental and island coasts
that where investigated in Part 1 above, research the respective coastal sediment
composition: siliceous (quartz/feldspar), volcanic or carbonate. Investigate the
origin of these sediments: (i) are they modern products of terrestrial catchment
erosion and transported by river systems or estuaries to the shoreface; (ii) are
they relict deposits on the continental shelf that have been reworked by modern
wave action and transported to the modern shoreface; or (iii) are they recently
produced with biogenic origins ?
It is suggested that you use the above reports and the following global data sets:
Beach and Shoreline Sands From Around the World (University of Georgia,
Sand compositions and plate-tectonic settings (Oregon State Coastal
3. Coastal Compartments and the Sediment Budget Concept
Littoral cells or coastal compartments define a closed sediment budget of
sources and sinks. Investigate how the geological conditions determine whether
a coast is comprised of embayed or open compartments and whether the
coastline is prograding (accreting), stable, or receding (eroding). Relate the
coastline configuration to the: (i) continental shelf width and slope; (ii) whether
the shelf is comprised of hard bottom reefs, submerged headlands or
sedimentary deposits. Compare the Californian coast to the Western Australian
coast, and an oceanic island coast. In addition, identify the components of the
sediment budget and draw a sediment budget diagram for all three coasts, and
describe how the sediment budget concept can be used to determine the stability
of a coast; ie. whether the coastline is stable, prograding or eroding ?
In addition to using the reports listed above under part 1, it is suggested that you
read and research the Australian Coastal Sediment Compartment Maps:
Australian Coastal Sediment Compartment Maps can be found at:
Prepare a short report, based on your literature research and review,
approximately 1000 (2-3 A4 pages with references) in length, not including
diagrams and/or maps. The report will be used to assess the satisfactory
completion of this exercise.
REPORT STYLE: The report should be structured in a scientific style (i.e., title,
headings, introduction, part 1, 2 and 3, and references).
Plagiarism of any reports or papers will result in a fail grade. All your written
work must be in your own words. You will be penalised if you use direct quotes
and do not under any circumstances plagiarise paragraphs.
BE CAREFULL THAT YOU DO NOT PLAGIARISE ANY OF THE MATERIAL
PROVIDED TO YOU IN WRITTEN OR ELECTRONIC FORM.
A/Prof Ian D Goodwin
Department of Environmental Sciences
Macquarie University, 23 August, 2016
Abstract – 100 words
Introduction – 200 words
Study Location Description
Climate Change Data Sources
Body of Report – 1500 to 2000 words
Summary of projected sea level rise estimates by 2100 for each coast（the
eastern Australian coast, the Californian coast, the muddy delta coast of southeast Asia, and an oceanic island group in the south west Pacific Ocean, and/or
Hawaiian Islands in the North Pacific Ocean）
Summary of sea-surface temperature and ocean current change for each coast
Geological factors that will determine the rate of relative sea-level change along
Variability in relative sea-level change and coastal type (either amplify or reduce
the impacts of global sea-level rise)
Contrast the morphological responses and rate of coastline recession of sandy
barrier, muddy delta and carbonate coasts to sea-level rise.
Ocean island response to sea level rise and potential ocean acidification impact
on sediment supply
Discussion 300 to 400 words
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