Coastal dune vulnerability among selected Scottish systems

A. T. Williams, R. W. Duck, M. R. Phillips

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    8 Citations (Scopus)


    Eleven Scottish dune systems were investigated as to their vulnerability with respect to management procedures. Analysis consisted of the structured use of a rating scheme to assess the environmental conditions and range of protection measures at each site. A 54 parameter checklist was utilised to assess Site and Dune Morphology (8 parameters); B) Beach Condition (9); C) Surface Character of the Seaward 200 m of Dune System (12); D) Pressure of Use (14) and E) Recent Protection Measures (11). The percentage of the maximum possible rating for each category was calculated and summation of the 43 parameter ratings A) to D) provides a Vulnerability Index (VI), which ranged from 40% at Gaineamh Mhor to 55% at Calgary Bay. The percentage score for the 11 parameters in category E) gives a Protection Measure Index (PM), which ranged from 18% at Breckon to 73% at Culzean. Systems with a VI/PM ratio in the range 0.8-1.3 are regarded as having an equilibrium relationship between vulnerability and protection; sites with values 1.3 (e.g. Ardalanish) are out of equilibrium (negative), i.e. they are under protected. Alternatively, a descriptive categorisation can be derived: I. Low Vulnerability - Low Management Response; II. High Vulnerability - High Management Response; III. Low Vulnerability - High Management Response; IV. High Vulnerability - Low Management Response. The approaches mentioned improve objectivity in dune vulnerability measurement and provides a useful basis for proactive management.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1263-1267
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Coastal Research
    Issue numberSPEC. ISSUE 64
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


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