Coastal geomorphology, processes and erosion at the tourist destination of Ferryland, Newfoundland and Labrador

Watton, Eric Carl (2016) Coastal geomorphology, processes and erosion at the tourist destination of Ferryland, Newfoundland and Labrador. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The community of Ferryland is located on the southeastern coast of the Avalon Peninsula. The town traditionally relied on a fishing-based economy until the collapse of the fishery in the early 1990s. The present economy emphasizes sustainable development in the tourism sector with focus on archaeology, geotourism and other recreational uses. This paper discusses coastal erosion and impacts on sites and infrastructure using methods including: local knowledge, Real Time Kinematic (RTK) surveying and other survey techniques, seawater level measurement, meteorological data from a locally-installed station, custom-made drifter tube buoys, photography, HD video, and investigation using various modes of transport including inflatable boat. The major findings of the study include that the residents and stakeholders are genuinely interested in and knowledgeable of coastal erosion. The causes of coastal erosion include: large waves, surge, longshore currents, harbour oscillations, mass wasting, and location of infrastructure causing alterations of these processes. Freeze-thaw Cycles (FTC), rainfall, and gravity loosen and transport rock, till, and fill materials downslope. Large waves and currents transport the materials alongshore or into the nearshore. Harbour oscillations causing high velocity currents (> 2 m/s) are responsible for shoreline erosion and damage to property in The Pool. Historical resources such as gun batteries and ordnance pieces which date to the 1700s are being lost or threatened through coastal erosion of till and rock cliffs. Improper drainage and maintenance is responsible for erosion of roads and supporting shoulders, necessitating mitigation measures. Sediment transport and deposition during and after large wave and surge events lead to undercutting of infrastructure and increased risk of washover of existing infrastructure. Erosion is ongoing at Bois Island and Ferryland Head Isthmus through slope processes and undercutting; The Pool and the lower Colony of Avalon site through harbour oscillations and related undermining; the tombolo and the main breakwater through wave attack; and Meade’s Cove including the East Coast Trail through wave attack and undercutting. The floor of the latrine in the lower Colony of Avalon site indicates that sea level was approximately 1.25m below present in the 1620s, a relative sea level rise rate of 3.2 mm/y. The recommendations include suggested mitigation to reduce impacts specific to each site.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 12076
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 186-202).
Keywords: Ferryland, Coastal, Erosion, sea level, Tourism
Department(s): Science, Faculty of > Environmental Science
Date: April 2016
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Newfoundland and Labrador--Ferryland
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Coast changes--Newfoundland and Labrador--Ferryland; Rogue waves--Environmental aspects--Newfoundland and Labrador--Ferryland; Tidal currents--Environmental aspects--Newfoundland and Labrador--Ferryland; Tourism--Newfoundland and Labrador--Ferryland; Ferryland (N.L.)--Description and travel

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