UCL Department of Geography
GEOGG100 Coastal Change
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GEOGG100 Coastal Change

(15 credits)

Term 2 (2012)

Helene Burningham, Jon French

The Coastal Change option aims to explore the dynamics of coastal systems through consideration of scales and types of change, and a critical review of alternative approaches to the analysis and prediction of change, and their application to the broader use, management and conservation of shoreline environments.

The course starts out by examining the scales of coastal behaviour in response to external environmental forcing (climate, sea-level etc) and intrinsic system dynamics. The UCL-developed Coastal System Mapping methodology is introduced as a tool for conceptualising and formalising expert knowledge of large-scale coast and estuary behaviour. Conceptual frameworks and analytical tools appropriate to the understanding and prediction of macro-, meso- and micro-scale coastal change are then explored through linked lecture and practical sessions.

The main sessions cover:
·    Scales of coastal behaviour
·    Coastal system mapping
·    Coastal sediments and grain size trend analysis
·    Macroscale and meso-scale change
·    Historical Trend Analysis
·    Coastal sediments and grainsize trend analysis
·    Coastal stratigraphic analysis
·    Instrument-based monitoring and the analysis of coastal time-series datasets

Written report based upon a write up of one of three practical exercises (max 2000 words; worth 8% of total assessment).

The course is based upon lectures, and on supervised and self-paced practical work.

Learning outcomes:
At the end of the course students should:

·    have an improved knowledge of scales of variability and change in coastal systems over the short, medium and long term
·    be aware of the approaches and methods available for the analysis of coastal change at various scales, and the types and sources of appropriate data
·    understand the role that sedimentology and ecology plays in the examination of coastal evolution and dynamics
·    have a conceptual and technical grasp of key analytical tools (Sediment Trend Analysis; Historical Trend Analysis; time-series analysis)
·    have a clearer understanding of the challenges and decisions associated with the management of dynamic coastal systems