Cliff Collapse Case Study - Christchurch Bay

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  • Created on: 01-06-16 15:40
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Cliff Collapse Case Study: Christchurch Bay, Dorset
Rate of Cliff Collapse: 1-2 m/year
Fetch of approaching waves?: 3000 miles
Why are they collapsing?
a. Permeable sand lies on top of impermeable clay.
b. During storms heavy rain saturates the permeable sand, making it
much heavier and making the top of the cliff unstable
Human Activity
a. Tourist honeypot site
b. Extensive building along the cliff top as a result
c. Extra weight on top makes the cliff unstable and weakens the cliff top
a. South-west winds which have blown across the Atlantic create strong
destructive waves
Marine Processes
a. Base of the cliffs are being eroded by hydraulic action and abrasion
Sub aerial processes
a. Land based processes that affect the shape of the coastlines (freeze
thaw, chemical weathering, biological weathering, mass movement,
b. Weathering is weakening the rock and then mass movement is leading
to cliff collapse and erosion

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Social Impacts Economic Impacts Environmental Impacts
Private property Infrastructure Habitats could be
has been could be under loss when the cliff
destroyed as cliffs threat collapses
collapse Poor Area becomes
Homes by cliffs infrastructure unattractive due
lose value due to to cliff collapse
Having insurance unpredictable Some cliffs cannot
on houses by cliff collapse be protected
cliffs is expensive Tourists could because they are
People can't walk stop visiting due classified as SSIs
too close to the to the dangers; (Site of Special
edges of…read more


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