Geography Coursework 2013 Spike

Fieldwork for submission in 2017

How  do  geomorphic  processes 

affect  the  coastline  in  Sitges, Spain? 

(2000 words & 27.5% of your iGCSE Grade)

Objective: To have an overview of what needs to be done for the geography fieldwork. 

Background Research - Sitges, Spain.

Task 1 - The Location
Using Google Earth or Google Maps, locate Sitges. Make a note of its location. Where is it in Europe? Where is it within Spain (NESW, coastline). How far is it from Toulouse?

End Product - Map to show location with written description

Task 2 - History of Sitges and other research
Carry out some research into the town. Find out about the original functions of Sitges and which particular alcoholic product it is famous for. Find out about the main sites and attractions and its beaches. 

End Product - A4 fact sheet with the information above and some images to show main features.

Task 3 - The Virtual Visit
Study the Google Street View beneath. Take a tour along the promenade looking left (residential) and right (towards the beach). Describe what you see. What are some of the features that are visible on the beach and in the sea? You may need to do some further research to find out more ......

Interesting point - the house directly to your left is Russian owned and cost over €8 million! 

End Product - Written description of physical and human characteristics of this coastline with some screen shots from Google Street View of interesting features. 

1. What  are  geomorphic  processes  &

 how  do  they  affect  the  coastline? 

Objective: To find out how different rock types influence the features and levels of erosion that occur in coastal areas. 

Background Research - Watch the video beneath. This is an old school video introduced by the very lovely Elliot Brown! It focuses on the United Kingdom, but the processes are the same in Sitges. Listen out for all the processes that he talks about relating to erosion, transportation and deposition. Make some notes.

Hard  Rock  &  Features

Objective: To find out about some hard rock features caused by erosion

So, you remember about erosion, transportation and deposition? Erosion to the clay under Sitges is being slowed down by a number of different sea defences (groynes, rock islets) and the feature is a beach.

What happens when sea erodes away at hard rock then? You don't often find coastal protection in front of cliffs as they aren't worth protecting. Look at the picture to the right. Here is an example of a famous hard rock feature.

Background: Watch the two videos underneath. Try to 'get over' how cool the presenter man is....!

Task 1. Turn to page 34 of the OCR B textbook and make a sketch (skill) of figure 1.55 including the annotated labels. 

Essential  Resources

The documents underneath are vital to your fieldwork study. You already have a paper copy of the Fieldwork Booklet, but you will need to save a copy onto your computer and download the other documents underneath. 

Getting  Started...

How to do a located bar chart .... by Mr Podbury ..... and an annoying cat!  

Zoom in slightly to create base for located bar chart - see video

Part 4  -  Data Interpretation

Click the tab zabove for the full instruction sheet for this section of work. Follow the instructions carefully.

Word Count - 1000

How have geomorphic processes altered the coastline in Sitges & how successfully have people tried to manage these processes?

Consider this….


Dynamic (ever changing) stretch of coastline permeated by bands of resistant and less resistant rock. Fetch of up to 600km (coast of Sardinia). Frequency of fetch and direction of wave energy is predominately in two directions. Winter storms accelerate the levels of coastal erosion and sedimentary rocks such as limestone are more susceptible to corrasion. Sitges lies directly on top of soft clays and gravels and these are susceptible to faster and more dramatic rates of erosion.

Think about the two different types of coastline in Sitges and the associated features (hard rock & soft rock). Beaches and where the clay is found and just beyond the nightclub, there are hard rock features including wave cut notches, stumps and blow holes (plenty of photos). What causes these features? Link in to the different types of erosion.

How and where does LSD take place? What do your measurement tell you from the pebble beach? Does this match up with the groyne depth measurements on beaches 1-5?

Consider this ....


Sitges has been referred to as the St. Tropez of Spain with property prices approaching those of the most expensive European cities, the main reason for this being the setting by the sea and the surrounding . Proximity to Barcelona International Airport is also a major advantage. Tourism numbers every year are large and hotels, shops, bars and restaurants are spread over the resort.  The resort generates €millions every year in tourism and is well known as one of the largest gay resorts in Europe. Expensive property on the sea front such as the €8 million Russian mansion!!

All this is worth protecting, especially when you have seen what geomorphic processes are at work above. 

What have humans done to alter the coastline? What types of protection have they put into place, where and why and do they work? 

How do these protection methods affect the geomorphic processes at work on this piece of coastline? You will need to study carefully your beach profile data sheet and bi-polar analysis.

Part 5 - Conclusions & Solutions

Part 6 - Evaluation

Checklist before final hand in

  1. Contents Page
  2. All pages numbered
  3. All photos, graphs, charts etc numbered in order e.g. fig 1, fig 2 etc
  4. Header of your name & Candidate Number
  5. Footer of International School of Toulouse FR042
  6. Front Cover with the following:

How do geomorphic processes affect the coast in Sitges, Spain? 

Your Full Name

International School of Toulouse

Paper 3 - Coursework
iGCSE Geography 0460

Word Count (should be and cannot be no more than 2000). Even one word over will affect your final grade. 
Key Words - Here are some of the key words that you heard in the video. Can you complete the definitions and explain how it works*?

1. Fetch ?
2. Cove ?
3. Hard Rock e.g.?
4. Soft Rock e.g.?
5. Erosion*?
6. Beach Sediment ?
7. Long Short Drift* ?
8. Spit ?
9. Groynes* ?
10. Beach Replenishment ?

11. Beach starvation*?
12. Rotational Cliff Slumping*?

2. What the textbook says

Turn to page 32 - 33 of the OCR B Geography textbook. Make notes under the following headings please:

1. The Three Types of Marine Erosion
a. Abrasion
b. Hydraulic Pressure
c. Attrition

2. Weathering in coastal areas
a. Solution
b. Wetting/drying
c. Mass Movement

3. Impact of geology on coastal landforms

4. Copy the geology map into a Word document. Annotate any areas where you would expect rapid and gradual erosion to take place. 

Compare & Contrast! 

5. Now look carefully at the Google Map below. Match up the areas that you identified as being vulnerable to rapid (fast) erosion. 

What do you notice?

6. Remember back to Elliot! How do people try to stop erosion and control long shore drift? What evidence can you see here of humans trying to control coastal processes in Sitges?

Zoom in closer to get a better view. 

7. Remember 'beach starvation'? Can you see an example here in Sitges (like in Barton-upon-Sea). 

Clue, long shore drift is going from north east to south west.
Thanks to the Barcelona Field Studies Centre.
Word Count 200 

A conclusion is just that. You have short number of words to revisit your two original research questions (RQ's) and answer them succinctly. 

Make sure you also answer your hypotheses by summarising the main evidence that supports or rejects the hypothesis statement. 

Word Count 100

An effective evaluation must re-visit each of the methods you used in the methodology, but critically evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. e.g.

Bi-Polar Analysis (Groynes) - This was my perception only on the day and my view of their effectiveness could vary from somebody who lives in Sitges and has seen the long term problem. A way to improve the method would be to ask a cross section of people from the local community. 

Controlled Assessment

We award 25 percent of the marks for controlled assessment (Unit 3). This is a terminal unit. Students must complete a geographical investigation that is supported by a fieldwork report. The fieldwork report must be no more than 2000 words. It must be based on primary data collection and investigate two or three hypotheses with a maximum of four. We provide a list of titles and teachers must choose the most suitable for their students to investigate.

The teacher marks the controlled assessment tasks, and we moderate them.

Students are assessed on their ability to:

  • plan some aspects of work to be carried out in the field;
  • investigate using geographical skills, including enquiry skills;
  • collect and record data in the field;
  • develop a written report to present, analyse and interpret the above data;
  • draw and justify conclusions, and communicate outcomes appropriately; and
  • evaluate methods of collecting data and suggest improvements to the investigation.

Teachers should guide students in planning and data collection. They may help by clarifying the focus of the investigation and detailing the structure of the report. The analysis, interpretation, formulation of conclusions and evaluation is the responsibility of the student.

Students can carry out the investigation as a group exercise, but each individual must complete a separate report. Where fieldwork is carried out in a group to support a common topic, students must:

  • define their role in the group in terms of primary data collection; and
  • use some original data collection.

Students must complete research and data collection under limited supervision. However, they must complete all analysis and evaluation work under direct supervision by the teacher.

For more information, see the specification.

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