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Geographical Investigation of Chesil beach.

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Introduction

Module 2682: Geographical Investigation Identification of the question: Having studied the sediment volume and the possible grading along Chesil Beach, we identified long-shore drift as the probable main process in creating this pattern. Due to a comparable possible alignment with Hurst Beach we decided to investigate any similarities between the two. Therefore when at Hurst Beach we considered related questions: Is there evidence of lateral grading on Hurst Beach, or any evidence of vertical grading. A large difference between Chesil and Hurst Beach is that the former is partially protected, in a way that even prohibits management; therefore maybe owing to human intervention, patterns of active erosion or vegetation the latter could be interesting in comparison. Evidence of lateral sorting and its possible parallel with Chesil Beach has influenced me to examine both this and potential vertical grading. Which has led me to hypothesise: * Hurst Beach is graded both vertically and horizontally. Development of a strategy: In order to gather the data necessary for analysis we decided to separate into groups, this would, as we detached into four teams, give us four times the data. ...read more.

Middle

The practicalities of the investigation involved keeping the tape measure low to the ground both to avoid wind moving it and to gain an accurate measurement. Meanwhile when sampling in close proximity to the sea we were careful to look out for one another in case of a wave. In order not to change the layout of the beach we had to be cautious not to tread on the shingle in our transect as it mobile. The health and safety of our investigation was not a large issue, as the day was both sunny and warm with little wind. However had it been worse conditions some attention to wearing waterproofs and staying away from the sea would have to be given. For general impressions of Hurst Beach we used a digital camera and acquired some aerial photos to demonstrate the shape of the spit. Analysis, evaluation and interpretation: To address whether Hurst Beach is horizontally graded I have decided to only take the samples nearest the sea as these are the most likely to be effected by long-shore drift. ...read more.

Conclusion

Other room for error exists in the relatively few samples taken, at twenty five stones for each section there are not really enough stones considering the size of the beach. Finally the pseudo random sampling technique may have skewed the results a little as, factors such as pebbles that are small falling out of the hands, and other small details add up. To extend the investigation could be interesting one could find out the angle the waves approach the beach, and whether this angle changes throughout the year, because the angle of approach will affect long-shore drift. However the problem with this is that the spit is highly mobile and so the morphology of the beach might change during the year. Maybe personally investigating Chesil beach or other similar beaches might yield some interesting results and compare to see if human intervention is a major factor in the grading of the beach. The results were probably not correlatory because of lack of samples; however judging by the lack of significant correlation it would be interesting to consider why - as mentioned above investigating a similar beach may provide the answers. Word Count: 998 Simon Lawrence 08/05/2007 ...read more.

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