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Title: Coastal Systems. 2e.
Author(s): Simon K Haslett
Date of Publication: 2009 Publisher: Routledge
Pages:xxii + 216 ISBN: 978 0 415 44060 8
Price: Format:Paperback
Target Readership Sen Secondary







Content: 1 – Coastal systems: definitions, energy and classification; 2 - Wave-dominated coastal systems; 3 - Tidally-dominated coastal systems; 4 - River-dominated coastal systems; 5 - Sea level and the changing land-sea interface; 6 - Coastal management issues.

Review: Coasts are under considerable threat from the twin problems of human coastal migration and potential change due to climate. add to this that they are one of the most high energy environments and you can see that there's considerable potential for change - not all of it positive. This slim text looks at some of the key aspects of coasts with the aim of giving the reader a base from which to study these areas in greater detail. We start with a brief overview of coasts from the vexed question of what and where the are (not as simple as it seems in legal terms) to some of the terminology used in coastal geography. The next stage is to provide a description of the main coastal types in the world. Although it can be argued that each beach is unique in reality there are three main variants. The first, wave-dominated, is the subject of chapter two. Waves and wave formations start the chapter which then proceeds through erosional landforms and ecology. This is followed by barrier beaches and sand dunes i.e. depositional features. Chapter three looks at tidal coasts with much the same format. Tides and tidal processes are highlighted followed by key tide related features - estuaries, slat marshes and mangroves. Chapter four continues with river-dominated coasts which comprise chiefly deltas and their related formations and ecology. Chapter five tackles the issue of sea level change but from a geomorphological rather than pollution angle. Finally, there's discussion on the main issues affecting beaches globally and what can be done to moderate our impact. A conclusion and glossary complete the text.

Overall, this is avery useful text. Although it is not a large text it puts a great deal of key information to the reader in a concise and precise way. All main aspects are mentioned from processes to coastal patterns and ecology. The chapter on management highlights the pressure coasts are under and allows the reader to be aware of some of the damage currently being caused. Having already road-tested this text on senior students and getting a very positive response one can conclude with confidence that this text hits the spot and provides the beginner with an excellent introduction.





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