HCCS Oceanography Virtual Beach Report Fred Howard Park Essay


refer to the video and the with the information she gives answer the questions from the document I have attached

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OCE 2001
The purpose of this project is to use the information provided in class about all the
factors that contribute to the composition of the beach environment to
characterize a particular beach of your choice. The project is worth 100 points.
The activities to be conducted include the following:
1. Work in a team.
2. Visit a beach of your choice.
3. Observe, document, and report on the following features at this beach:
a. Location (provide gps or latitude/longitude coordinates for your
b. Sediment (identify the type of sediment found on the beach and out
into the shallow water) provide information on its characteristics, its
potential origin, use the attached suggested exercises and questions
to complete this characterization.
c. Waves characterize the nature of the waves observed during your
visit, also couple this characterization with the prevailing wind
direction and speed. You will need to provide information on the type
of waves observed, their height, and estimated length (long low
energy, short high energy waves).
d. Tides: Find a tide chart and identify when high and low tides occur at
your beach. Note where in the tidal cycle you were when you visited.
e. Water quality: Observe the clarity, temperature, and any other
characteristics of note (i.e., particular odor, peculiar color, etc.)
Would you say the water quality was good or showing signs of adverse
f. Biological life: Observe, describe, document (i.e. photos) of 10
different species of biological life. These can include algae, fish,
marine mammals, plants, invertebrates, birds, etc. They must be
identified by proper name (use a field guide). Note any interesting
behaviors, locations, characteristics observed about these organisms.
4. All of this information complete with photos must be assembled into a
summary report that will be due the week before finals. While you are
allowed to work in teams, the report must be your own. The only duplicative
information in each report should be your data and your photos. Due date will
be posted on the course calendar. Reports must be typewritten (12pt font, 1
inch margins, must be at least 5 pages in length. All references must be
appropriately cited (APA format).
Intro to Oceanography
Beach Trip
Beach and Coast Features
Time Observations Started:
1) Shortly following this field trip, what tide interval will be occurring?
What time will it occur? What is the estimated height of this tide
interval. (Check a tide table on line
www.mobilegeographics.com:81/locations/6374.html, in the newspaper or through
some other source.
2) How would you characterize the weather and sea conditions? (i.e.,
light/calm, breezy/choppy, very windy/rough seas, etc). What would you
estimate as the average wave height?
3) A. On the upper portion of the foreshore, can you identify the most
recent high tide mark? If so, how? If you find it, photograph it.
Is there evidence that extreme (storm) high tides and waves ever get
higher on this beach? If so, what is that evidence? Photograph it if you see
4) Look out toward the Gulf and the water offshore. Which direction does
this beach face?. Can you detect any current flowing off shore? If so,
which direction, North or South does it seem to be flowing?
5) Pick up a handful of beach material about halfway down the foreshore
and examine it closely using a magnifying glass. Use the attached info
sheet as a guide:
a. How would you characterize the predominant grain size? (Gravel,
sand, silt, clay)
b. How would you characterize the sphericity and angularity of the
c. Would you call this beach material “poorly sorted”, “moderately
sorted”, or “well sorted”?
d. Look at the color and other characteristics of the various grains, and
using the attached table of common rock-forming materials, make
some educated guesses as to what the mineral composition of some
of these grains might be.
e. Would you call this a “high energy” beach or a “low energy beach”?
6) a. Head toward the other side of the beach “island”, using a shovel, dig
a hole about a foot deep in the beach material, away from the water and
closer to the trees. Do you see any layering in the sediment? If so, what
processes might have caused it?
b. Do the same thing at a number of other locations either on the island
or along the mangrove trail to see if layering is present. If so, what might
have caused it. Be sure to fill in your holes after excavation!!!!!
7) How do you think this beach is replenished? Stream runoff, shoreline
erosion, artificial beach enrichment or some combination of the above.
Explain your reasoning.
8) During your exploration of the beach, did you observe any of the
following small scale beach features? If so, check them off and
photograph them.
Rill marks
Backwash marks
Ripple marks
swash marks
signs of animal activity in the sand
9) Although at this point in the course we are not yet studying marine life,
this trip gives us a chance to practice finding and identifying some
intertidal zone plants and animals. See how many you can find, and list
them below by their common name (e.g., sand dollar, sea grass, calico
scallop). Use some of the attached reference material for assistance.
Photograph what you observe.
Common Name of Animal or Plant
Where Found?
Beach Trip Data Collection
Field Exercise
Tide Table
Cloud Chart
Water Quality
Beach Type
Measurement stick
Stop watch
Dye, measure tape,
stopwatch, compass,
Beach features
Field guides
Bait bucket
Data Collected
Tidal Cycle, Spring/Neap
High Low Tide Indicators
Cloud cover/type
Wind Direction/Speed
Wave height, length,
Id current, direction,
Type, size, material,
composition, sortedness,
High or low energy?
Rills, Ripples, Swash,
Backwash, animal
10 different organisms

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Virtual Beach

Fred Howard Park

beach environment

environment composition

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