Coastlines are a major topic in GCSE Geography. This is one of several quizzes on that particular subject and it focusses specifically on the management of coastal erosion, with both hard and soft engineering.
Coastlines are dynamic areas. Geologically speaking they are changing in the blink of an eye. Compared to how slowly even things like glaciers move - never mind mountains being eroded - coasts are the geographical features that move in and out and shake it all about!
The changes that occur at the coast are a part of natural erosion and deposition. But with most parts of the British coastline having some form of settlement or industry located there, being a part of a delicate natural ecosystem, or being a key part of the tourism for the area, coastal management is key to try and prevent the loss of towns, villages and landscapes all around the country.
Civilisations have been attempting to monitor coastlines for around 3,500 years. The ancient Romans had some advanced techniques - many of which are still in place today. Over the past few decades methods have changed from a physical defence against the sea using hard engineering strategies, such as sea walls and rock armour, towards more sustainable options that are often far less expensive in the long term. These soft engineering solutions include beach management and managed retreat.
For your exams some of the techniques used in coastal management may be the basis for long answer questions, so it is important to have a knowledge of hard and soft engineering examples, as well as case studies to be able to discuss in your answers. Climate change is increasing the need for coastal management as sea levels rise, so be prepared for this sort of exam question.
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