Lesson 10: Coastal Processes

Anacapa Island, Channel Islands National Park, at sunsetThis week's lesson will be our last to focus on a specific geologic hazard that, unlike several geologic processes we've learned about in recent weeks, does not pose a threat here in Siskiyou County. Nonetheless, California is a state defined by its coastline (as at Anacapa Island, right) and even those of us living well inland are affected by the controversies and costs associated with coastal issues. In addition, coastal erosion and flooding are only likely to loom larger in the coming decades as rising global temperature increases sea level and produces stronger storms.

As with the previous chapters on potentially hazardous geologic processes, this one begins with background information on waves, coastal erosion, longshore transport, and storms and then discusses their implications for humanity. For example, you'll learn how predict where waves will focus most of their erosive energy along a coastline and how we can use this knowledge to build structures or take precautions that will protect lives and property.

As you read through this chapter on coastal processes, it will be helpful to take notes on topics addressed by the learning objectives so that you can keep track of key facts and concepts and recall them more easily when we use them later in the semester. Be sure that you are prepared to meet the learning objectives outlined below before you move on to the quiz at the bottom of the page.Finally, in lieu of a typical exercise this week we will be undertaking our first writing assignment. Your job will be to read and then write an outline of a recent article on geologic hazards from one of three I have selected for the class (see "Outline of Article" below). This is the first of three writing assignments you'll do on this same article (more about the abstracts later), so take your time and be sure that you understand the key conclusions and supporting data in the article you choose well before you start writing your outline.

Weekly Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this week's lesson, a student is expected to be able to:

Reading and Browsing Assignment

Exercise 10: Outline of Article 1 (Due by 9:00 AM on 24-Oct-2011)

This week's exercise is to complete the first of our three writing assignments. To learn about the assignment read through the pointers below and then click on the "Resources" link on the left side of this page, scroll down, and click on "Outline" under "Writing Assignment" near the bottom of the page. This week we'll be completing steps one and two and you'll be turning in the outline of the article you choose from the first set. (Note that steps 3 and 4 are "grayed out"; we will be working on these in future weeks and you do not need to worry about them now.)

Quiz 10: Coastal Processes (Due by 9:00 AM on 24-Oct-2011.)

After you feel you have met the learning outcomes outlined above, please complete Quiz 10 in the Etudes "Assignments, Tests, and Surveys" area. There are ten questions, each worth one point. If you can answer all of them correctly it means that you know your way around the basics of coastal processes pretty well and are ready to move on to a more detailed look at water resources next week. Remember, answers will be available for review after 10:00 AM next Tuesday so please look over the results of your quiz and contact me if you have any questions about either content or scoring.