Discuss how the interaction of physical, chemical

Discuss how the interaction of physical, chemical and biological processes shapes coastal landforms.

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The course work (including the data write up part) should be no longer than 2500 words. Please make all the text double spaced, and pt12 font, with margins of at least 2cm on all sides. Use headings and subheadings and diagrams. Refer to relevant literature and cite references correctly. Note the regulations on word count. ‘The word count for coursework, written assignments, projects, reports and dissertations shall include: Footnotes and endnotes, references (in the main text), tables and illustrations and if applicable the abstract, title page and contents page. Any appendicised material and the bibliography or reference list shall be excluded from the word count.’

  1. 1.             Coastal and Ecogeomorphology


QuestionDiscuss how the interaction of physical, chemical and biological processes shapes coastal landforms.


This is a large topic, so you will need to focus your answer. You could either choose 1 to 2 coastal environments to use as case studies that you explore in depth, or you could pick examples from a variety of environments to illustrate the range of interactions. Both approaches are equally valid, so it is up to you which you take.

To help develop transferrable skills, and get you thinking about how physical, chemical and biological processes interact, you are provided with some data from an intertidal mudflat (Table below). You should analyse this data to produce graphs to include in your essay (as if you were going to use it to write a final year project or scientific paper). Once analysed, you should discuss this data within the context of the question given above. You could potentially write a lot about this data, keep to a limit of no more than 750 words.

All measurements/samples were collected from the same top shore site on an intertidal mudflat in Glades Bay, Australia. 1-5 were collected in 10 minute intervals starting at 9am, samples 6-10 were collected at 10 minute intervals starting at 3pm.


Analysing the data includes the following:

            From the data in Table 1 below, there are two more sedimentary variables (the water content and sediment bulk density) you can calculate, you should calculate them. (A quick google search will show you how to do this, if you do not already know).

            Process the raw data for the cholorphyll a and colloidal carbohydrate. The data you have been given is unprocessed. Because each core differs slightly in size, you cannot use the raw data, you need to express your data according to a common set of units. This type of data is commonly expressed as content (mass/mass), concentration (mass/volume) or area (mass/surface area of core), you will need to decide what units are best to use by researching the literature.

            Plot your data on a graph(s). How you do this is up to you, but you are aiming to display the data in a way that best shows any patterns or trends in the data. Note: there is no ‘right’ way, but some ways of presenting data are better than others.

            Interpret your results. What do your results show? What are the implications of your results for physical, chemical and biological interactions shaping coastal landforms? 

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