Available as part of a field course at the following locations
Acheninver Hostel in Scotland
Costa Brava, Spain.
Fieldwork for our unit on Coastal Landscape Systems takes place along a stunning stretch of the Catalan coastline between the resorts of Platja D'Aro and Sant Antoni de Calonge, near Girona. Access to this coastline is along an exciting, cliff hugging footpath that links the two resorts and crosses numerous small headlands and bays.
We can also visit some wonderful sand dune ecosystems further north close to the mouth of the Rivers Ter and Fluvia.
ICZM, Processes and Landforms
The primary objective of the fieldwork is to study this stretch of coastline as an case study of Integrated Coastal Zone Management, where the needs of tourism are balanced with coastal protection.
The fieldwork starts on the beach of Platja D’Aro with an introduction to beach profiling, sampling strategies for sediment analysis and methods for estimating wave height, wave period and wave energy.
We then start our exploration of the coastline by following the footpath from bay to bay. Each small bay has unique characteristics that exemplify certain coastal processes and landforms that have developed on the varied geology of this area.
Some of the bays have small tourist developments and coastal protection whereas others are completely undeveloped and un-protected.
Once we reach the resort of San Antoni de Calonge we start a detailed field study of the substantial coastal defences that have been put in place to minimise the risk of coastal flooding. We will study the effect that the breakwaters have on wave energy, beach profile and width and will also apply Hudsons equation to the rock armour to calculate potential wave energy during a storm.
There is a set of sand dunes accessible to us along this coastline, which is ideal for fieldwork looking at vegetation succession. The sand dunes are small enough to enable students to do a full transect across, from bare sand to wet dune slacks and coastal marshes.
page being updated 30.12.19