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Understanding coastal processes and problems to produce successful management solutions. A case study of Dawlish Warren. Dr. Chris Spencer University of.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding coastal processes and problems to produce successful management solutions. A case study of Dawlish Warren. Dr. Chris Spencer University of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding coastal processes and problems to produce successful management solutions. A case study of Dawlish Warren. Dr. Chris Spencer University of the West of England, Bristol

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4 Shallow Water Waves : Waves change as they move into shallow water motion of water molecules changes

5 Moving into shallow water the sea floor starts to interfere As water shallows wavelength and wave velocity decrease wave height increases wave steepens crest becomes narrower and steeper, can’t continue the wave breaks The point at which this happens varies How does this vary on steep / shallow beaches?

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7 The wave breaks : water runs up the beach until stopped by gravity – the swash water then flows back down the beach due to gravity – the backwash

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12 Beaches : Shore Normal Morphology : beach – loose pile of sand and gravel survives in high energy environment…….walls get destroyed?? How do beaches survive? beaches are mobile adapt shape to conditions walls are fixed Low energy conditions (summer) – beach relatively steep - reflective – waves break onto the beach, relatively well spaced out – backwash returns before the next swash – swash not slowed Lecture 3 : Dr Chris Spencer

13 How will this effect sediment movement? Beach Shape? – these are constructive waves – give us summer profiles – berms at the back of the beach Under high energy conditions (winter) – beach slope is more gentle – absorb / dissipate – spilling breakers, breaking over beach – waves arrive in rapid succession – backwash interferes with the next swash – reduced ability to move seidment Lecture 3 : Dr Chris Spencer

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15 net seaward movement of sediment – destructive waves – winter profile – wider flatter beach Beach shape is also influenced by particle size this is due to the variable permeability coarse beaches are more permeable swash dominates, backwash returns through the beach net sediment movement up the beach – increases gradient Lecture 3 : Dr Chris Spencer

16 Dr Chris Spencer : Lecture 3 Longshore currents : waves may approach the coast at angle usually <10 0 due to refraction swash approaches at an angle backwash returns with gravity

17 Longshore Drift : wave process leads to characteristics landforms landforms become detached from the coast Spits – narrow, elongate beaches – detached from the coast longshore drift transports sediment along the coast where the coast is ‘indented’ some of this sediment is deposited the longshore drift can now extend further Lecture 3 : Dr Chris Spencer

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19 The spit then extends across the indentation in the coast can extend right across bay bar – if an estuary the high discharge will keep this open spits have a characteristic hook shape at the end, a recurve often a whole series of recurves visible Example : Dawlish Warren 2 theories – waves approach and slow in the shallows – curve around the spit – angle of the wave varies – builds up a recurve Lecture 3 : Dr Chris Spencer

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24 Profile 2 Height (m) Distance along transect (m) Height (m) Distance along transect (m) Profile 1 Profile 4 Profile 3


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