IGH13 - Coastal Geomorphology Theme
Coastal geomorphology is the theme that includes all the landforms around the coast of Ireland, which have been created by the power of the sea. This theme will be trying to find the best examples of particular landforms. The panel will also try to identify locations where processes are actively happening today and the development of the landforms themselves, through recent time can be studied.
Landforms can be of two categories, those formed by erosion and those formed by deposition. Of particular note amongst erosional sites will be such features as sea cliffs, sea stacks and rock arches. Sites where deposition of sand, gravel or boulders occurs may include spits, tombolos, barriers, beaches and bars. Finer grained deposits of mud or silt may be found in estuaries and mudflats.
Other landforms may be created by drastic changes of relative sea level. During the Ice Ages, thick sheets of ice depressed the land surface. As the ice melted the land bounced back, and created raised beaches in some localities. In other places the sea level rose with all the ice melt water, and drowned river valleys.
Whilst there are very many practical problems with trying to conserve many of these dynamic landforms, with all the rich heritage of our seascapes it is important to identify key sites for educational understanding and for fair treatment in any attempted coastal zone management.