Coastal Environment


The Holderness coastline is eroding rapidly:

It is 61km long; from Flamborough Head to Spurn Head.

Most cliffs are made of till, and it is exposed to powerful destructive waves during storms.

Coastal processes:

  • Erosion - soft boulder clay is easily eroded.
  • Mass movement - boulder clay is prone to slumping when wet.
  • Transportation - prevailing winds transport material southwards. These winds create an ocean current, which transports material south by longshore drift.
  • Deposition - where the ocean current meets the outflow of the Humber River, the flow becomes turbulent and sediment is deposited.

Coastal proceses have created distinctive landscapes:

Headland and wave-cut platforms - to the north of the area, the boulder clay overlies chalk. The chalk is harder and less easily eroded, so it has formed a headland and wave-cut platforms. Flamborough Head has features such as stacks, caves and arches.

Beaches - the area to the south of Flamborough Head is sheltered from wind and waves, and a wide sand and pebble beach has formed near Bridlington.

Sand dunes - around Spurn Head, material transported by the wind is deposited, forming sand dunes.

Slumping cliffs - frequent slumps give the boulder clay cliffs a distinctive shape. In some locations, several slumps have occurred and not yet been eroded, making the cliff tiered.

Spit - erosion and longshore drift have created a…


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