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Describe and explain the features and processes associated with sea level change

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Introduction

Describe and explain the features and processes associated with sea level change A2 level essay Water is the most powerful, destructive and creative force in the world in which we live. Over 60% of the total area of the earth in covered by water and as such has the largest effect on the shape of the land and the carving of new features. The changes that come about through the movement and change of state of water are various and encapsulate a multitude of factors. In this essay I am going to focus upon landforms that have been altered or changed through the process of water. In particular costal landforms. Costal landforms can be affected by three factors. Sea level change, land movement and glacial movement. Thee these factors can be indexed into two categories Isostatic and Eusostatic. Eusostatic movements are the global effects such as sea level change and the creation of gondwana and other such global continental movements. Isostatic movements are on a local scale and are land based or to do with ice caps. Although this is a certain crossover point here with global warming and large scale tectonic movements that can affect the world on both a global and local scale and therefore cross the boundaries between Isostatic and eusostatic. I will concentrate on explaining the 8 different land types that have been created. Though isostatic and eusostatic changes. Firstly there are two types of drowned river valleys. Rias are found in highland areas whereas estuaries are found in low lying areas. Rias are largely classed as long narrow inlets that gradually decrease in depth from mouth to head of the river whereas estuaries are classed generally as large bodies of water at the mouth of a river where large mud flats form due to a process where salt water and fresh water mixes and deposits sediment. There are two types of glaciated valleys, fjords are highland glaciated valleys and fiards are lowland glaciated valleys. ...read more.

Middle

Terminal moraine from the glacier is then moved with currents to the opening of the fjord where the material is deposited. This causes the formation of "closed" fjords for example the lochs in Scotland and Ireland. These brilliant deep water channels are well hidden and as such the Nazi forces used them as submarine bases in the second world war, ever since that time they have been used for ship building. The absence of sand banks and obstructions means they are sheltered but also free flowing meaning that ships have no problem being navigated through the fjords. Vast fjords scatter the north coast of Norway and are home to a large variety of salt water Atlantic fisheries. These large lakes being calm and deep provide perfect conditions for fisheries as well as ship building, although settlements are rare as the sides of the valleys rise up to 1300meters alongside the fjords and are not navigatable, only the tongue of the glacial moraine and the glaciers path is habitable due to its eroded and flattened path. The fjord above shows how steep the valley sides are and the path of the old glacier. As previously mentioned, the lochs on the west coast of Scotland are also Fjords just used under different terminology. Loch Lomond is one of the biggest lochs on the west coast of Scotland, its shallow south end gradually steepens t form a dramatic variance, and the steeply rising mountain range has been aptly named the "Arrochar alps". The main use for loch Lomond is now tourists, cheap holidays in the countryside attract thousands each year who wish to enjoy mountain walking, sailing, abseiling, rock climbing, pleasure boating, fresh water fishing and have the thrill of captaining your own boat without the risk of the harsh tidal seas of the Atlantic. The fjord landscape is caused by the highland meeting the sea with a glacier eroding a u shaped valley. ...read more.

Conclusion

My personal opinion is that although we as humans through industrialisation have increased green house gasses and therefore stated to warm the earths atmosphere ending up in thermal expansion and glacial melt, and it will finally reach equilibrium. As said previously, through detailed research we have discovered that water currents provide vast amounts of temperature differentiation throughout the world. These giant thermal water cycles such as the Gulf Stream are driven by salt water. Therefore as glacial melt water pours into the salt system it will reach a point where the system cuts off. This will have outstanding effects upon the world. Labrador in Canada has a yearly average temperature of 11 centigrade less than that of the UK although it is at the same latitude. This is due to an absence of the Gulf Stream. As such if the gulf stream where to close down, most of continental Europe would be forced into an ice age. This has been proven to be a natural cycle in the earth's life and is the way in which the ecosystems of the world find a balance and reset, these balances of course have been exaggerated by the influences of humans. As we have already seen recently climate based events are becoming larger, rainfall is becoming heavier and in shorter periods. This is following previous records taken from ice cores of what happened last time sea levels rose and co2 levels rocketed. I would expect sea levels to follow a similar pattern, as suggested maybe rising up to another 20-40cm before another mini ice age takes affect and forces human industrialisation in the northern hemisphere along with tourism the largest worldwide industry to decline. While near the equator rainfall will become a lot less and droughts will become more common due to deceased evaporation across the world. I do not agree with a theory that states that global warming will continue to increase the earth's temperatures until large proportions of the earths arid areas become uninhabitable, because this has been proven to be through historical data and climatology to be completely impossible. 1 ...read more.

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