• Read the information provided and answer the following questions in this document.
  • All your answers should be submitted in red in pdf format.
  • The grading of all your answers will be based on how much detail you provide. This does not mean length. Go in depth and use the appropriate punctuation.
  • Do not use the expressions “I think”, or “I believe”. Base your answers on the information you learned from your textbook.
  • Do not paraphrase the textbook, use your own words to provide value to the answer.
  • Add a reference page for your sources.
  • Always read all the instructions carefully.

Chapter 16: The Oceans, Coastal Processes, and Landforms

Section 16.1: Human impact in oceans and coastal processes


  1. Mention the ways in which coastal systems impact humans and how humans affect coastal systems (2 points)

Section 16.2: Sea level rise


Read this article and answer the following questions


  1. What does the article mention as the main cause of sea level rise? (2 points)
  2. Look at the third table in the study, in which they ranked coastal cities by their “high social vulnerability”. Why do you think it’s important to know about the cities that are more at risk? Hint: we know from the study that these places are high in population, so focus on the implications for everyone else outside these areas. Why is it important for you, for instance, in South Dakota, to know about cities vulnerable to sea level rise? (2 points)

Section 16.3: SIDS


Read the following article by the United Nations on SIDS and answer the following questions.


  1. What are SIDS? (1 point)
  2. Where are SIDS mostly located? (1 point)
  3. Based only on their geomorphology, what are the economic/development challenges of SIDS? (2 points)
  4. What is the main threat that climate change is posing to SIDS? (2 points)
  5. Compared to the amount of CO2 produced int the world, how much SIDS are responsible for? (1 point)
  6. Critical thinking, what would you say about the size of adversity SIDS must face compared with the amount of (negative) contributions to climate change? In other words, are SIDS more affected than the rest of the world, even though they do not cause as much damage? (2 points)
  • Explain why you think the United Nations created a formal plan to help specifically the SIDS. (2 points)

Section 16.4: Oil spills in coastal ecosystems


Read these articles and answer the following questions.


  • What are the main two ways in which plants and animals can be hurt from oil spills? (2 points)
  • What creatures are mostly affected by oil spills? (1 point)
  • What are the consequences of light oil spills? (2 points)
  • What are the consequences of heavy oil spills? (2 points)
  1. From what scenarios/sources can an oil spill come from? (2 points)
  2. In bullet points, list the factors that determine the severity of oil spills (2 points).


Section 16.4: Coral bleaching


Read these articles and answer the following questions:


  1. What is coral bleaching and why are they important? (2 points)
  • What are the areas of the world where coral bleaching is happening? (1 point)
  • According to these article’s information, what percentage of coral is expected to be gone by 2050? (1 point)
  • In bullet points, name the factors contributing to coral bleaching. (2 points)
  • What is the prediction of the amount of plastic in the ocean by 2050? (2 points)

Section 16.5: Coastal Vulnerability Index

The coastal vulnerability index (CVI) provides a preliminary overview, at a national scale, of the relative susceptibility of the Nation’s coast to sea-level rise. This classification is based upon several variables including (1) geomorphology, (2) regional coastal slope, (3) wave height, and (4) shoreline erosion and accretion rates. The combination of these variables and the association of these variables to each other furnish a broad overview of coastal regions where physical changes are likely to occur due to sea-level rise. (USGS)


Use the PDF: Coastal Vulnerability PDF, available on d2l. The PDF will help to understand the variables.

For the map, go to:  (Link available in PDF)


* Turn on the Geomorphology layer

  • What is the definition of coastal geomorphology based on table 1 found in the PDF? (1 point)
  • Based on the information provided in table 1, name 3 landforms that are related to high or very high vulnerability in the Gulf Coast area? (1 point)


* Turn of all other layers, and then turn on the Wave Height layer.

  • What affect do barrier islands have on wave heights? (2 points)


* Turn of all other layers, and then turn on the Slope layer.

  • What is the risk level of a 2% slope? (use table 1 in the pdf as a guide) (1 point)
  • What is the risk level of a .04% slope? (1 point)

Erosion Rate

* Turn of all other layers, and then turn on the Erosion layer.

  1. If a high risk of erosion rate indicates a large amount of erosion, what does low erosion risk indicate? (What is the specific term?) Explain you answer (2 points)
  • Type in “Atchafalaya bay” into the search box. Thinking back to the lab on rivers, what feature is displayed here? (1.5 point)

CVI (Coastal Vulnerability Index) Conclusions

* Turn of all other layers, and then turn on the Coastal Vulnerability Index as well as the Urban Areas layer.

  • What factor or variable (geomorphology, erosion, waves, and slope) do you think has the greatest impact on CVI? Explain why (2 points).
  • Browse through the CVI layer. Name 1 or 2 urban areas you think will be affected most by a 1-meter increase in sea level rise? Explain why (1 point).


* Turn of all other layers, and then turn on the 1 Meter Sea Level Rise layer as well as the Urban Areas layer.

  • What cities would be affected by a 1-meter rise in sea level? (1 point)
  • Explain why certain areas were affected and others were not (2 points)
  • Places like Mobile, AL are relatively safe from sea level rise, what factors of CVI primarily influence this? (2 points)

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