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Coastal Landscapes, Processes and Human Management

Geography Fieldwork Presentation ~ includes coastal landforms, processes, and human management on Cape Schanck, Gunnamatta, and St. Andrews Beach

David Yu

on 17 October 2013

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Transcript of Coastal Landscapes, Processes and Human Management

Coastal Landscapes, Processes and Human Management
The Location of Fieldwork ~ Mornington Peninsula
Cape Schanck
St Andrews Beach
The main beach road (Ocean Drive) is about 500 to 600 metres away from the sea and fore dune. There is only minimal accessibility to the beach because the beach-dune system needs to be looked after and protected. There are only narrow routes to the beach. This allows the vegetation around the path to grow without any interference. There is a lack of nutrients in the soil in this area and because of this, the vegetation is low and only salt-tolerant plants can grow.
However, the plants which are growing there have roots, which bind the sand together. The vegetation that is there is protecting the beach is extremely important. Without the vegetation, the sand dune would be collapsing.
We can conclude that the vegetation cover is currently starting to grow back.
I hope this Prezi presentation gives a clear insight into the coastal landforms, processes and human management of Cape Schanck, Gunnamatta Ocean Beach and St. Andrews Beach.
Ultimately, the cause of all the erosion and damage to nature is humans. Humans cause the most damage to the environment. We can't live without the environment and yet, we do not look after it. Future generations will have to suffer the consequences of our wrongdoings.
3 places:
Cape Schanck
St Andrews Beach
This project gives an insight into the landforms and some of the coastal processes occurring along the coast.
It also shows how we impact the coast and what we can do to minimize any damage to the coast
Coastal Landforms, Processes and Human Management
by David Yu
Cape Schanck is actually a headland, a narrow piece of land that extends from a coastline into the sea. Cape Schanck provides a stunning view of ocean. It also provides an incredible view of amazing geological formations, such as Pulpit Rock (a stack). Other landforms can be seen near Pulpit Rock such as a wave-cut platform. This wave-cut platform is caused by destructive waves, which have a swash which is weaker than their backwash.
Due to corrosion and hydraulic action, the destructive waves are able to break and wash away rocks. It is these attacking waves which are the major causes of erosion. The destructive waves create a wave-cut platform. The wave-cut platform can be found in the cove near Pulpit Rock which is on the western side of the Cape.

Pulpit Rock, a sea stack
Wave-cut platform
Photos from Cape Schanck
The cliffs at Cape Schanck have a dune capping, made of limestone. The limestone capping, which covers the dark layer of basalt, is prone to erosion, especially in places where there is no vegetation to cover it.
Causes of erosion include weathering and people repeatedly walking over such areas. One main cause of erosion is the wind. Wind blows against vegetation and all of a sudden, there is no plant cover. Another type of weathering is the rain. The impact of raindrops can slowly cause the soil to erode.
Since the cape is made of only rock, there are no sand beaches at Cape Schanck. Also, the waves that crash in are not constructive waves which means that sand cannot be deposited at such places.
In Cape Schanck, there are many signs to warn visitors about certain hazards. Some of these include:
• Slippery rocks
• High surf
• No life-saving services (no lifeguards)

Also, since Cape Schanck is inside the Mornington Peninsula National Park, certain regulations are enforced.
For example:
• All the plants and animals in the park are protected.
• Bins are not provided. Please take your rubbish with you.
• Camping is not permitted.
• Dogs are not permitted.

Also, there is only one possible route to the cove - a boardwalk. A wired fence has also been placed around some areas to ensure that visitors stay on the boardwalk. This is to protect the surrounding vegetation. Signs have also been placed around the vegetation with, “Please keep out.”
Provided facilities include toilets.
(It is for all these reasons that) Tourists come to Cape Schanck to marvel at the wonderful landforms and the engaging landscape.

Source: Daniel Lunk
March 16, 2010
Longshore Drift ~ video
A dune system operates in Gunnamatta ~
Beach berm
Primary Dune
Secondary Dune
Tertiary Dune
Along with Cape Schanck, Gunnamatta can also be found within the Mornington Peninsula National Park.
Some of the processes which operate on this beach include longshore drift and rips.
Rips are a stretch of fast-flowing and rough water in the sea or in a river, caused by the meeting of currents. At the time when we went to Gunnamatta, rips were not identified.
Longshore drift operates on this beach. The swash of the constructive waves places the sand on an angle. This is usually caused by the direction of the ocean current. The backwash drags the sand straight back into the water, thus causing longshore drift.
With the help of wind, high tides can wash sand back into the water. This is somewhat problematic in winter when blustering winds blow the sand closer to the water where the high tide can drag it into the ocean.
There are two designated car parks for access to Gunnamatta. However, these car parks are built so close to the dunes that the back of the tertiary dune is starting to collapse from the bottom, which would make the whole sand dune unstable.
No more car parks should be built. More car parks would just wreck the sand dune system.
This is where the dune revegetation program comes into play. An extensive restoration program was undertaken in 1975. The dune revegetation program is a program that helps hold all the sand together. Vegetation helps hold the sand dunes together and also keeps it stable. Currently, the vegetation has only started to grow back. It is only starting to recover.
Access to the beach is limited by fences and paths. These paths have been constructed around the sand dune to offer a safe path to the beach without damaging the dunes.
Beach = around 25 paces
Wooden Path = around 25 paces
Sandy Path = 40 paces
This is just one type of vegetation which can be found at St. Andrews and Gunnamatta.
Marram Grass is native.
In these areas, housing sub-divisions should not be allowed. These houses are being built on the dune which is making the sand dune system unstable. Too many roads and houses have been built. According to the map on the next slide, a vast area of sand has been affected over 5 years. Imagine the effect of such housing sub-divisions over the course of 10 or 50 years.
Source: Wikimedia Foundation Inc.
From the Fieldwork Handout

by David Yu
Primary Dune
Primary Dune
Covered in vegetation
Not covered in vegetation
Some places of the Cape are not covered in vegetation due to erosion. Here, weathering is the main cause of erosion. There is minimal vegetation because of the heavy rain and blustering winds. To further avoid loss of vegetation, multiple revegetation sites and a boardwalk are present.
In this cove, the effect of attrition can be seen in the smoothed edges of the pebbles. When the pebbles smash against each other, the edges slowly corrode (wear away) which causes them to have a smooth texture.
As previously stated, this sign has been placed to provide information about what visitors can and can't do.
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