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  2. Marine Geomorphology
  3. Coastal Geomorphology and Ecology Lab
  4. UCC Alumni launches new book on Marine Geomorphology - MaREI

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Several years ago I realized there was a need for a marine geomorphology book. As a de facto teacher of new hires in the Bathymetry Division of the Naval Oceanographic Office, I wrote and updated that training manual four times between and After I retired in , I decided to do just that, using the materials that I had learned about and taught over the years.

However, what was really "out there" on the ocean floor and what was supposed to be out there were not the same. As the surveyed regions evolved, the realization came that things were not as they should be with the tectonic working hypothesis.

Marine Geomorphology

My paper content evolved with the ocean data, so much so that trying to get that published in the main-stream journals became more and more difficult for whatever reasons. Using all of the survey data for the north Atlantic basin yielded what we called a "superchart," one which showed the basin in its entirety. Our study revealed a number considerably less than that which had been proposed, about We published that data.

From the same superchart I constructed a basin-wide diagram of the fracture valleys. We presented both at an AGU meeting.

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The astute observer noticed that all of the seamount chains were associated with the ends of the fracture valleys. Such geomorphological change may be slow and gradual, such as that which occurs where the geological inheritance has produced a resistant rocky coast. However, coastal change may also be extremely rapid, such as the almost instantaneous erosional impact of storm waves on a sand beach.

In the face of such dynamism it is paradoxical that many elements of the coastal landscape appear to be more enduring: sea stacks are ephemeral and young landforms, but the host cliff from which they have emerged is often much older. Nearly a hundred of the most scientifically important sites have been selected for the GCR to represent the geomorphology of the coast of Great Britain.

Coastal Geomorphology and Ecology Lab

There are classic 'textbook' examples of typical coastal geomorphological features cited the world over, such as Scolt Head Island, Lulworth Cove, Chesil Beach and St Ninian's Tombolo, and yet others such as the machair of the west coast of Scotland that are unique to the British Isles. Many of the sites have earned international renown both scientifically and aesthetically.

Information from such sites contributes greatly to an understanding of the impact both of natural climate change and of coastal management by human beings. The chapters are arranged thematically to highlight similarities and differences of related systems including hard-rock and soft-rock cliff coasts, gravel and sandy beaches, sand dunes, machair and saltmarshes.

UCC Alumni launches new book on Marine Geomorphology - MaREI

Each chapter includes contextual descriptions of the landforms and interpretation of the dynamics of the systems operating within the sites, and the volume is characterized by many illustrations and an extensive bibliography and glossary. Buy from NHBS.

Please cite as: May, V. Registered in England and Wales.