Holderness: Coastal Erosion

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The Holderness Coast- Coastal Erosion

Location: The Holderness Coast is located on the east coast of England. It extends 61km from Flamborough in the north to Spurn Point in the south.


Background: The Holderness Coast is one of Europe's fastest eroding coastlines. The average annual rate of erosion is around 2 metres per year. This is around 2 million tonnes of material every year. Under lying the Holderness Coast is bedrock made up of Cretaceous Chalk. However, in most place this is covered by glacial till deposited over 18,000 years ago. It is this soft boulder clay that is being rapidly eroded.

Physical Causes:

·         Beach material is being transported south along the Holderness Coast by longshore drift.

·         The soft, easily erodible clay is being worn away at a very fast rate.

·         At Flamborough, as the cliffs below are worn away by the action of the waves, the clay soil often falls into the sea in huge landslips.

·         Powerful waves due to the long fetch across the North Sea and the cliffs face the dominant and prevailing wind directions.



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