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The subject is designed to develop students’ understanding of the physical processes of coasts and rivers, and how these processes interact, over time, to shape catchments and landscapes. A focus is on processes of erosion and deposition that occur as we follow the movement of water and sediment from hillsides, down rivers, through estuaries, to meet wave and tidal processes at the coast. A theme of the subject is the impact of humans on these geomorphic systems, and how these impacts can be predicted and managed. The subject will address major questions and challenges that are facing the management and research communities alike. These challenges include the impact of past and present management activities on both the fluvial and coastal processes. Furthermore, the impact of a changing climate on the rates and types of processes occurring in these dynamic environments will be addressed both from a holistic catchment perspective and at the individual landform scale. Management of coasts and rivers is a growing area of employment.
Using practicals and field-trips, students will develop their empirical and analytical skills including the use of ArcGIS (spatial mapping and geomorphic analysis), stratigraphic logging and interpretation, and topographic surveying. This subject includes a 3-day field trip to the Otways Ranges in western Victoria, occurring over a weekend during semester, where students will collect and interpret field data from coasts and rivers.
Intended learning outcomes
Students who complete this subject will be able to:
- Identify coastal and fluvial landforms and the processes that drive their evolution and present-day morphology
- Recognise fundamental similarities and differences in sediment transport principles
- Identify how humans can modify the physical processes of these features
- Recognise the importance of using geomorphic principles to ensure effective management of coasts and rivers
- Apply skills in GIS, data analysis, and field investigations.
- Critically evaluate and synthesise literature and information
- Write succinctly and accurately
- Conduct library based research
- Apply knowledge (about given examples) to new cases
- Work independently to solve problems
- Competence in writing consulting reports and journal articles
Last updated: 8 August 2023