COASTAL AND ESTUARINE ENVIRONMENTS
Dr Helene Burningham and Prof Jon French
Unit value: 0.5 unit
Year 3 Term 2
Accessible via UCL Moodle ( )
Brief course description
A lecture and practical-based introduction to the dynamics of selected coastal and estuarine environments, and to the application of scientific research to a range of engineering and management problems.
The aim is to introduce coastal and estuarine science through an appreciation of the (mainly) physical processes controlling the morphology and behaviour of beaches, coastal dunes, estuaries, deltas and reefs. Content is designed to demonstrate the importance of basic science as a means of informing effective management.
An initial introduction to a range of topical coastal problems is followed by a brief overview of coastal and estuarine processes. Selected environments are then considered in detail, both systematically and through the use of case studies to illustrate particular engineering and management problems in depth. Key environments (with typical case studies) include estuaries (SE England, NW Ireland); coastal dunes (NW Europe); beaches (SE Australia, NW Europe); coastal deltas and wetlands (Louisiana, Italy, Egypt); reefs (Costa Rica, Cook Islands). Sea level change is covered as a major environmental change issue and a whole session is devoted to a case study analysis of the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster.
Method of delivery
The course comprises 9 two-hour lecture-based sessions and one four-hour lecture/practical session based on shoreline change analysis using GIS. Supporting web pages provide access to lecture schedules, key research articles, annotated reading lists, and links to sites of interest.
Form of assessment
One three hour essay-based examination (100%).
Pre-requisites and relationships with other courses
Some background in physical geography is essential. The course complements other final year courses covering the water environment, global environmental change and environmental management.
Suggested preliminary reading
Carter, R.W.G. 1988. Coastal Environments. London, Academic Press.
Davidson-Arnott, R. 2010. Introduction to Coastal Processes and Geomorphology. Cambridge University Press.
Davis Jr, R.A. & Fitzgerald, D.M. 2004. Beaches & Coasts. Blackwell.
Masselink, G. & Hughes, M.G. 2003. Introduction to Coastal Processes and Geomorphology. London, Arnold.
Viles, H.A. & Spencer, T. 1995. Coastal Problems. London, Arnold.
Woodroffe, C.D. 2003. Coasts. Cambridge University Press.