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To what extent do you agree with the view that coastal systems are too complex to ever be completely manageable?

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Introduction

To what extent do you agree with the view that coastal systems are too complex to ever be completely manageable? Of all the earth's natural environments, the coast is the most rapidly changing and dynamic. It can be defined in several ways, but at its simplest, it is the place where land and sea meet and interact. The coast is under numerous pressures due to its pull for economic activity, settlement, recreation and wildlife. Its form is greatly influenced by Terrestrial (Weathering, erosion, deposition, rock type/structure). Human (Pollution, recreation, settlement, defenses) and Atmospheric (Climate. Marine, Waves, tides, salt spray). They all interact to produce the enormous variety of coastlines found worldwide. (From beaches and cliffs to coral reefs). As things like coastal tourism have become more frequent, humans have found it increasingly necessary to attempt to control the effects of the sea. The main reasons for coastal management are to protect the coast from the erosive effects of the sea and to increase the amount of sand on the beach. Many strategies have been tried around the world, and these can be divided into two main groups, hard and soft engineering. Hard engineering methods aim to stop the coastal processes from occurring. ...read more.

Middle

However, the backwash returns to the sea by the most direct way possible, which is at right angles to the shoreline, under the influence of gravity. Gradually, beach material is carried along the shore. On some beaches where loss of sand is a problem, groynes are built to trap sand and pebbles. However as coasts are such complex systems this is a very effective method of controlling long shore drift, but it often leads to increased erosion further down the coast. It also leads to beaches further down the coast reducing in size as they do not receive as much sediment as it is trapped by the groynes. In Bournemouth the groynes that were built to maintain the tourist beaches deprived the rest of the coastline with sediment. Beach profiles vary in steepness. The gradient is dependant upon the interrelationship of two variables, wave energy and particle size. Two types of wave that affect the gradient of a beach have been identified, constructive and destructive. When a beach is affected by a constructive wave, the waves are shallow, widely spaced and approach at the rate of six to eight waves per minute. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mangrove trees have been planted to increase the spread of mangrove swamps as a natural buffer against sea incursions. More emergency shelters have been built on the higher land and flood warning g systems have been improved. Appropriate management polices are in place, therefore, but the funding is not available to extend them to all parts for the coastline that need them. MEDC's and LEDC's have exactly the same problems in managing coastline's however the MEDC's can manage the coastlines better by reducing the impact of them as they can fund for more hard management strategies and can fund for the research and development to take place. Therefore coastal systems are more manageable in MEDC's. I believe that coastal systems are too complex to ever be totally managed as too many factors are involved in the system. Each change that is made whether it be natural or human has a knock on effect to other parts of the coastline. The complexity of this system means that individual factors make a big influence on the entire coastal system. I believe that there are too many unpredictable variables like climate that are involved with in the coastal system, which cannot be foreseen therefore cannot be managed. ?? ?? ?? ?? Louise Carvey ...read more.

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