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Investigation into the Pebble Ridge at Westward Ho!

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Introduction

GENERAL STUDIES - MATTERS OF MOVEMENT - MOVEMENT AND THE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT Investigation into the Pebble Ridge at Westward Ho! Planning and Data Collection The aim of this study is to see whether pebble length changes with distance from the proximal end of the pebble ridge and along transects up the ridge at Westward Ho! Westward Ho! is located at the Taw Torridge Estuary on the north Devon coast shown by figure 1. The supply of material has come from the south with the aid of wind and longshore drift. However, dissipating wave energy at the mouth of the River Taw has ended any further northward movement and an accumulation of material has built up at the distal end of the ridge. The pebbles are made of hard, fine-grained sandstone, which comes from the cliffs west of Westward Ho! Theory suggests that with distance from the proximal end of the pebble ridge, pebble length should decrease as a result of attrition and the direction of longshore drift. Attrition is when waves cause rocks and pebbles to bump into each other and break up. Longshore drift is the movement of material (ie sand, gravel or shell fragments) ...read more.

Middle

showing that distance from the proximal end of the pebble ridge does result in decreasing pebble length therefore attrition is occurring which is causing the pebbles to get smaller, also indicating that longshore drift is also occurring at this site. "There is no significant difference between the lengths of pebbles at transects A, B and C" To try to disprove this hypothesis I shall perform Chi Squared. Figure 4: Chi Squared of my three transects Chi Squared for Pebble Length along the Ridge at Westward Ho! Sediment Size A B C O Values E Values O - E (O - E)^2 (O - E)^2/E O E O E O E Totals 26 26.97 -0.97 0.9409 0.0349 Very Small <10 26 26.97 5 19.48 33 18.55 64 122 138.37 -16.37 267.9769 1.9367 Small 10 - 19 122 138.37 113 103.78 106 98.84 341 82 87.65 -5.65 31.9225 0.3642 Medium 20 - 29 82 87.65 80 65.74 54 62.61 216 46 26.38 19.62 384.9444 14.5923 Large 30 - 39 46 26.38 12 19.78 7 18.84 65 4 21.62 -17.62 310.4644 14.3601 Very Large >40 4 21.62 0 1.22 0 1.16 4 5 19.48 -14.48 209.6704 10.7634 Totals 280 210 200 690 113 103.78 9.22 85.0084 0.8191 80 65.74 14.26 203.3476 3.0932 12 19.78 -7.78 ...read more.

Conclusion

As the shape of the coastline changes at the Taw Torridge Estuary, the velocity of the wave drops causing the waves to drop the sediment they are carrying therefore causing deposition at the distal end of the spit. This deposition has formed the large sandy end of the ridge at Westward Ho! The direction of longshore drift can also be seen at Westward Ho! as, sediment is moved in that direction. Therefore we can say that at Westward Ho! pebble ridge, longshore drift is moving from south west to north east, which fits in with the way that winds prevail around the UK. I feel that my data was as accurate as it could have been because I followed the instructions to the letter. I was not rushed to finish quickly so took time over measuring lengths and not making haphazard guesses. However, the reliability of my data could have been improved by collecting data from a greater number of transects and going further towards the mouth of the river. However for this to occur, further hazard analysis would have to be carried out. If I was to do this experiment again, I would record data from a greater number of transects and go further down the pebble ridge to see if I get any further clarity from my findings. ...read more.

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