There were 4 main stages to undergo completion of the investigation; “To what extent is the rate of erosion evenly distributed at Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove?” The stages included introduction, planning/method, data presentation and conclusion. Evidently, each stage had both positives and negatives aspects in attempting to fully answering the main investigation question.
The introduction stage was carried out to ensure that a relevant and worthwhile investigation could be conducted that allowed a wide variety of results to be collected and analysed to ensure that a valid conclusion could be drawn. The introduction section contained a vast amount of positives. The background research/reading conducted provided the necessary knowledge of understanding the significant factors that contributed to rapid erosions at coastlines and to ensure the results I gathered were geologically correct. The Location of study section provided precise information on the destination of the investigation, which allowed secondary research to be carried out such as wind speed and weather forecast on the particular day.
The planning stage was also carried out to ensure that my investigation question was effective and that the means of gathering results were reasonable and assessable. The breakdown of the main investigation question allowed me to assess the question in depth to ensure it was fully answered. The risk assessment that was carried out reduced the risks of injuries as we possessed the knowledge of the potential accidents that could occur when data was being collected out in the field. For example tripping and clipping was a risk which was resolved by wearing sensible footwear. A recording sheet was constructed to allow neat and tidy data collecting, which also reduced the time spent understanding and figuring out which data represented what method. The recording sheet also allowed data presentation to be reasonably easier as we could distinguish what type of graph would be suitable to the chosen data. Finally, gathering and understanding how the equipment’s and methods function allowed effective and accurate data collection. However some of the equipment enabled some recording to be inaccurate. For example the 1 metre string between the two ranging poles was not fully stretched which means the distance from the sea may have been less than we expected. To obtain better and accurate results a metre stick could have been places between the two ranging poles to ensure the string was fully stretched to 1 metre.
The data collection stage provided both positive and negative points whilst collecting data. The investigation was constructed in reasonable amount of time that enabled us to obtain relevant results, however for my investigation question the area chosen was too small/compact to show great contrast. Wind speed, geology and other factors were quite similar which means only a hand full of factors could be analysed. However a large quantity of successful data was collected which indicated my investigation was worthwhile and successful as I could identify areas of contrast between the two investigation points. To obtain approximate sediment speed the longshore drift values were required to calculate a velocity which represented the speed rocks and minerals moves along the sea bed. How hard the sediments hit the landforms depend on how fast they are travelling. Therefore a greater speed equals a more vicious impact. Finally, the wave count to distinguish if constructive waves or destructive waves were the most frequent waves had its limitations. The area of investigation was densely populated at the time which means it was difficult to distinguish actual waves from ripples. Preventing this could involve underdoing the investing at a different time of the year that doesn’t attract a vast quantity of individuals.
Data presentation showed a lot of positives. A bar graph was constructed to show the average sediment size at increasing distance from the sea. The graph contained two bars on the same distance, blue representing Lulworth Cove and red representing Durdle Door. This data presenting technique was advantageous it was quite easy to compare the sediment size between the two investigation points. Also construction of bar graphs is easy and provides the sufficient data comparison. By including the two investigation points in one bar graph significant differences can be identified, thus aiding in answering segments of the main question.
Line graphs were used to show the cumulative height change on beach profile at increasing distance from the sea. The two lines showed variation between Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door. The two sets of lines allowed multiple data two be analysed. The line graph was an effective method in that, the data collected was quantitative which means a large range of data could be plotted at once and the values were continuous. Unfortunately, the technique was time consuming as plotting some points required a large amount of concentration to avoid plotting in the wrong area. Theoretical values may have been plotted due to exact values being difficult to deduce due to the scale size.
Tables and lists were made to hold data neatly and show comparison between the two types of data collected. Initially this method of presenting data was very effective as it was very easy to understand and information was really easy to compare however there are some complications with this sampling technique. It was not effective when finding or determining trends and correlations. If more time was spent constructing the investigation more values could have being obtained for wave frequency which means the data would be more representative and a suitable graph could have been drawn, therefore a more accurate conclusion.
Finally, annotated photographs were used to show the visual contrast between the two sites. It provides a general overview on the surroundings and what the environment was like on that day. This technique can be viewed as advantageous as it provides excellent visual representation of the sites and they can support the data collected to some aspects. One the other hand, they do provide some negative points. Individuals are keener to annotate the most attractive areas on the photograph and leave out the least attractive aspects which can also provide important information. The reliability and accuracy of secondary photographs is not always guaranteed, which provides irrelevant information and may lead to incapability’s of understanding results.
They data collected provided evidence for conclusions to be reached on each of the sub questions. The relevancy of the conclusions was at a high as they were drawn directly from the data collected. These conclusions provided explanations for each of the sub questions which made answering the main question easier. However, some flaw were identified which may set some minor draw backs. Some data collected were not 100% accurate meaning the conclusions drawn weren’t 100% reliable. For instance, distinguishing between waves and ripples was difficult as the investigation sites were densely populated. Results were collected and inaccurate conclusion may have been drawn. The quality of the conclusions can also be viewed as inadequate standards as they were based upon data collected from one day and a certain time of the day. Undergoing data collected for a large period of time would improve the conclusions drastically.
Overall, the entire investigation contained a vast amount of positives and negative which may provide opportunities for other researchers to improve and gain a better understanding of the subject matter coastline erosion.