Causes of Rapid Coastal Erosion
- Cliffs are made of soft boulder clay, left from the ice age. The clay easily becomes saturated making the cliffs prone to slumping.
- The waves travel from the north east, meaning they have a long fetch, so are more powerful and cause more erosion.
- Rates of Longshore drift are very fast, meaning beaches cannot build up. This means the waves nearly always directly hit the cliff at high tide.
- Hydraulic action and abrasion cause wave-cut notches to form. This causes rapid cliff retreat as the unsupported overhang collapses quickly.
- Hard Engineering strategies such as the groynes in Mappleton have worsened erosion further down the coast, eg. in Great Cowden
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Effects on Holderness
- The coastline today is around 4km inland from where it was in Roman times
- Over 30 villages have been lost to the sea
- About 1.8 metres is being eroded each year (in Great Cowden it is about 10m per year)
- 80,000 metres squared of farmland is lost each year.
- Gas terminal at Easinton is only 25m from cliff edge. It cuurently provides 25% of Britain's gas supply
- Seaside Caravan Park at Ulrome loses 10 pitches a year
- Property prices in the area have fallen dramatically
- B1242 has been damaged
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- Homes in Skipsea are at risk of falling into the sea
- People cannot sell their houses or get insurance
- Accessibilty has been altered eg. Southfield Lane between Skipsea and Ulrome has been closed
- SSSIs are threatened eg The Lagoons near Easington, which are separated from sea by a narrow strip of sand and shingle- contributes to a loss of habitats and tourism
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