GCSE Case Study- The Holderness Coast
Background: North-East England. 1.2 meters lost each year. Fastest eroding coastline in Europe. Causes: Area consists of Boulder Clay and Chalk, two soft rock types, with Boulder Clay depositied from Scandanavia in the Ice Age via a glacier. Cliffs are attacked by destructive waves from the North Sea, which has a large fetch, resulting in large waves. Rising sea levels also contribute to the power that the waves hold. Hydraulic Action and Abrasion are two types of erosion that feature here. Beaches are narrow, and offer no protection for the cliffs. Slumping is not uncommon here. Effects: Villages, farms and homes are all under threat. A major UK Gas Terminal based at Easington is also at risk of falling off the cliff. Up to 4km of land has been lost since the Roman Times, with whole villages ceasing to exsist. Insurance Premiums have risen, due to the proxiemety to the coast, and conflicts arising between villages due to types of defence being used. Response and Management: As a result of needing to save to coastline, around £13 million has been spent in Withernsea, Easington and Mappleton. Defences such as Sea Walls, Groynes and Rip-Rap/Rock Armour has proven popular. At the SSSI (site of special scientific interest) of the spit Spurn Head, no measures have been put in place to protect the coast. A cost-benefit analysis concluded that the cost of saving that specific stretch outweighed the benefits that came from saving it, thus it was ignored. Due to the costs that are needed to save the coast, there are continuous arguments as to where the funding should come from, with many saying it is a central issue, and should be funded by the National Government.