A Checklist Assessment of Dune Vulnerability and Protection Measures in Wales U.K

  • Rowena Yeldham

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    There has been little success in developing a method that can quantitatively assess the vulnerability of a dune system and the effectiveness of protection measures. A checklist system has been devised that attempts to overcome this problem. The analysis consisted of assessing a series of 54 parameters which are organised into the following five sections:

    A) Site and Dune Morphology (8 parameters).
    B) Beach Condition (9 parameters).
    C) Surface Character of the Seaward 200m of the Dune System (12 parameters).
    D) Pressure of Use (14 parameters).
    E) Recent Protection Measures (11 parameters).

    Summation of the 43 parameters (A-D) gives a Vulnerability Index (VI). The remaining 11 parameters relate to recent protection measures (E), which when summed give a Protection Measure Index (PM). During pilot stages of the checklist development the process proved to be an extremely workable and rapid procedure to assess the balance between dune vulnerability and protection, the relationship being calculated with a Vulnerability/Protection Measure Index (VI/PM). The checklist was used to assess the major dune systems of Wales.

    The total vulnerability range was from 4.3% at Broadhaven to 65.1% at Morfa Dyfrryn, with an average of 39.1%. The protection index varied from 13.6% at Morfa Bychan to 68.2% at Conway, with an overall average of 43.7%. Scores however, need careful interpretation as low protection indices do not necessarily mean inappropriate management strategies. This checklist approach improves the levels of objectivity in analysing coastal dune vulnerability and protection measures, and as such provides a firm base on which important management decisions may be made.
    Date of AwardMay 1997
    Original languageEnglish

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