2019-2020 / GEOG2012-1

Coastal geomorphology, changing sea levels and the vulnerability of coastal regions


20h Th, 10h Pr, 3d FW

Number of credits

 Master in geography : climatology (120 ECTS)4 crédits 
 Master in geography : general (120 ECTS)4 crédits 
 Master in geography, global change (120 ECTS)4 crédits 
 Master in oceanography (120 ECTS)3 crédits 


Aurelia Hubert

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The course is divided in three main parts.
The first one is general and deals with morphological characteristics of the coastlines and beaches, coastal landforms and their rapid evolution, sea-level variations. The second focuses on the coastal processes: waves, tides, currents, storm surge, wind action. Finally the last one focuses o the different types of coast: beaches, dunes and barriers, cliffs and rocky shores, estuaries and delta, mangroves and reefs. The course emphasizes anthropogenic disturbances and general effects of a rising sea level in the different environments.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

- Understand the impact of sea-level change linked to global warming on the seashore
- Understand the specific processes in the littoral zone and associated coastal morphologies 
- Understand the anthropic  growing impact on the seashore combining  specific example in the Course and the field trip
- Analyze the littoral landscape using GIS tools during practical exercises

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Basics in geology and geomorphology

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The lectures are supplemented by field trip of a 3-days and by practical exercises focusing on the field trip area using GIS tools. The field trip and the practical exercises are mandatory.  Practical exercises  are rated.

Mode of delivery (face-to-face ; distance-learning)

The lectures last 2 to 3 hours. Practical exercises last 2 hours in groups.

Recommended or required readings

Ø PowerPoint Files of the lectures are available sur eCampus.
Ø Reference Book:
o Masselink, G., Gehrels, R. (eds), 2014, Costal Environments and Global Change.
Other books used:
o Geomorphology- The Mechanism and Chemistry of Landscapes. Robert S. Anderson & Suzanne P. Anderson. Cambridge University Press. Disponible à la bibliothèque de l'ULg.
o Salomon J.N., Géomorphologie sous-marine et littorale, Presses Universitaires de Bordeaux
o Perry C., Taylor K., 2007, Environmental Sedimentology, Blackwell Publishing.
o Bird E., 2000, Coastal Geomorphology, an introduction, Wiley.
o Davis jr R.A., Fitgerald D.M., Beaches and coasts, Blackwell Publishing.

Assessment methods and criteria

Evaluation will be discussed at the beginning of the year with the students.
 The following allocation will be proposed:
 Ø 50%: on an examen at the end of the year ;
Ø 35%: assessment based on practical exercises that must be completed;
Ø 15%: assessment based on an oral presentation about the sandy coast based on reference books.
 Ø if underperforming, oral exam during the second examination ; but pratical excercices need to be completed
It is mandatory to participate to the 3-days field trip.

Work placement(s)

Organizational remarks

Travel and housing cost: 130 euros


Aurélia Hubert-Ferrari

tél. 04/366 93 95

email : aurelia.ferrari@ulg.ac.be