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How important is the geology in determining the shape of the coastline?

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Introduction

How important is the geology in determining the shape of the coastline? The shape of the United Kingdom has changed over many years. Enerally, this essay will aim to show that the geology of an area is the main factor in determining the shape of the coastline. However, there are many other important factors which contribute to the shape of areas. The geology of England is one of the most important reasons as the why the island is shaped as it is now. The geology of land, such as the type of rocks or the positioning of the rocks, can determine the shape of any coastline. The first example is Lulworth Cove on the south coast of England near Dorset. The cove was formed 100,000 years ago, when a glacier to the north of the original area was melting, causing a river to swell due to melt water, which flowed over the land to sea. The river cut a valley and breached the Portland stone, cutting the first notch in the cove. ...read more.

Middle

However, the erosion has stopped as behind is a layer of chalk. The archway of Durdle Door has been eroded due to a large amount of joints in the Portland rock, causing the archway to form and expand from a single crack. This is another example as to why the geology is important. Single handedly, it has created the landform of Durdle Door due to the resistence of certain rocks. Portland's shape has also been determined due to the geology of the area. It is a small area located on the south coast to the east of Durdle Door. The existence of Portland is solely due to the geology. The rock has resisted erosion, even from storms from the Atlantic Ocean. However, before the Portland rock is a lyaer of soft rock, leaving Portland being 'T' shaped, with only one road in and one road out due to the narrowness of the land leading back to the south coast being constantly eroded. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, this is not the most important factor of determining a coast line as it is subject to constant change and can take hundreds of years. Also, this does not permanently change the coastline like geology does and does not literally change the shape of the coastline, but just floods them. The final factor this essay will be looking at is the size of the fetch. The size of the fetch determines the amount of energy a wave contains. The fetch is the main distance of open water which the wave travels on which the wind blows. A larger fetch can experience more wind and accumulate more energy as a result, meaning stronger waves. However, fetch only affects areas on a large scale if it is a soft rock. Therefore, fetch only determines the shape of a coastline when there is a certain geology, this meaning the geology is the most important factor. In conclusion, geology is the most important factor in determining a coastline's shape as it directly affects the shape, but other factors such as fetch, and in some cases climate change, rely on geology to be able to change the coastline. ...read more.

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