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Coastal protection case study- East Anglia
Lithology of cliffs on Norfolk coast- made of soft sands and clays- makes
then susceptible to erosion as rainwater saturation causes rotational slump,
making them vulnerable to wave attack
Long shore drift creates management challenges as dominant winds are
North easterly creating lots of sediment drift from north to south. So,
protecting part of the coast and slowing long shore drift can reduce beach
sizes and increase erosion in other parts.
Shoreline management plan (SMP) suggests that areas of high
socio-economic value are protected and that managed retreat takes place in
areas of low socio-economic value.
SMP caused conflict as places unprotected will be lost to the sea in the
future; where as areas such as towns are protected by expensive coastal
Coast at Sea Palling needs protecting, to protect inland area of the Norfolk
broads from flooding.
Beach at Sea Palling has narrowed due to groynes at Eccles, which have
reduced sediment reaching Sea Palling. This has allowed to sea to reach the
sea wall and begin undermining it.
Rock armour (hard engineering) used as a temporary measure to reduce
erosion of sea wall.
Beach management strategy put in place in 1992
Hard engineering- 100,000 tonnes of rip rap
Soft engineering- 1million cubic metres of sand for beach replenishment
The gaps left in offshore bars to allow long shore drift to continue have
caused a tombolo effect, where sediment builds up behind bars connecting
them to the beach, creating a series of bays. This has reduced sediment
flow further south at Waxham where beach replenishment is needed.
SMP suggests holding the line of defence- maintain sea walls, groynes,
offshore bars and replenish beaches. Beach will be maintained and sediment
supplies to down drift areas.
This SMP policy is used because no loss of land behind existing defences
and no loss of sand dunes behind sea wall. The beach is present and car
parking facilities need to be maintained.
Main causes of cliff erosion at Happisburgh are soft cliffs and old timber
defences destroyed by wave energy leaving cliffs exposed.
Groynes rejected in 2001 due to objections on financial and technical
2002, hard engineering (4000 tonnes of rock bund) used as temporary
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SMP suggested no active intervention (coast allowed to retreat) in 2006.
Due to implications on land down drift of area- could increase erosion, not
enough valuable land or property to be worth protecting.
2007, rock bund extended due to £50,000 from `buy a rock for
Happisburgh' campaign.…read more