A Checklist Assessment of Dune Vulnerability and Protection in Devon and Cornwall, UK

by A. T. Williams, Univ of Glamorgan, Glamorgan, United Kingdom,
P. Davies, Univ of Glamorgan, Glamorgan, United Kingdom,
R. Curr, Univ of Glamorgan, Glamorgan, United Kingdom,
A. Koh, Univ of Glamorgan, Glamorgan, United Kingdom,
J. Cl. Bodére, Univ of Glamorgan, Glamorgan, United Kingdom,
B. Hallegouet, Univ of Glamorgan, Glamorgan, United Kingdom,
C. Meur, Univ of Glamorgan, Glamorgan, United Kingdom,
C. Yoni, Univ of Glamorgan, Glamorgan, United Kingdom,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '93

Abstract: Various indices have been utilised as a measure of dune vulnerability both to natural and anthropogenic forces. To date most have had little success with respect to quantitatively assessing the vulnerability of a dune system and the effectiveness of protection measures. A checklist system has been devised that attempts to overcome this problem, and a study of 11 dune systems in the South West peninsula, UK, provided an opportunity to field test the methodology. Analyses consisted of assessing the physical site features, dune morphology and surface condition, beach condition, and pressure of use, in order to arrive at a dune vulnerability index. Recent protection measures were also assessed and results compared to the vulnerability index. All calculated values were expressed as percentages. Site morphology percentages varied from 90.6% at Porthcothan to 46.9% at Braunton Burrows, averaging 73.3%; beach condition values ranged from 52.8% at Woolacombe to 30.6% at Reen Sands, averaging 41.7%; dune surface characteristics varied from 52.1% at Croyde Bay to 8.3% at Blea Hill, averaging 42.7%, and pressure of use varied from 67.9% at Honeywell Bay to 3.6% at Blea Hill, averaging 30.2%. The total vulnerability range was from 57.6% at Holywell Bay to 23.8% at Blea Hill, averaging 43.9% and protection value varied from 86.4% at Woolacombe to 22.7% at Blea Hill, averaging 57.2%. Scores need careful interpretation as low protection indices do not necessarily mean inappropriate management strategies. In several instances vulnerability and protection values were out of phase, but examination of the sub sets enumerated above proved adequate in explaining the apparent anomalies. It is suggested that this new approach should be incorporated into current dune management strategies as it achieves a more objective and scientifically based assessment methodology.

Subject Headings: Dunes | Management methods | Field tests | Bays | Beaches | Numerical methods | Site investigation | Soil properties

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