Monday, 24 July 2017

Year 10 explore the coastal geography of Shoreham Beach

Year 10 Class from St Andrews School visited Shoreham Beach over 4 days studying Coastal Geography.
The students used raging poles and clinometers to measure the profile of the beach, starting at the waters edge and measuring subsequent berms created by the waves.

The clinometers measures the difference of the angle between each pole, allowing the students to plot the changes in the incline as they make their way up the beach.

The students also selected 10 random pebbles from a quadrat placed on the beach in each section to calculate the average pebble size.
The students also marked the position of the strandline, sea weeds and also the shingle plant communities at the top of the beach.
This was followed by exploration of the shingle plant ecosystem. We also discussed the local and global threats to this beach and the shingle habitat including climate change, coastal erosion and sea level rise.

There are many threats to shingle habitat one of which is compaction of the shingle by beach visitors, which has led to a path at the top of the beach with no plants growing.  Recently a boardwalk has been constructed on a section of this path. 
The second task we set the students was to create a beach profile of this path looking at 'Sphere of Influence'.

One transect would look at the compacted path, the second transect would focus on the new boardwalk.
The task was to see if the boardwalk has encouraged regeneration of the shingle plants in the boardwalk section.
The students took measurements every 8 metres. At each point, from the centre, the students would measure north until they reached the nearest shingle plant.

They would repeat the same to the south.

We are looking forward to a summary of the students data as this will be very useful to our work on the reserve.

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