Within site geological contingency and its effect on rock coast erosion

Stephenson, W.J. and Naylor, L.A. (2011) Within site geological contingency and its effect on rock coast erosion. Journal of Coastal Research, 61, pp. 831-835.

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In this paper we investigate how geological contingency causes variations in scales of erosion within a single study site as opposed to variations between sites. Discontinuity data were collected on different layers of Blue Lias limestone on a shore platform in Wales, United Kingdom. Significant differences in block size were found between stratigraphic layers exposed on the surface of the platform. Evidence of geological contingency from this study illustrates that erosion susceptibility is dependent on which layer of limestone is at the surface, as different layers provide variations in resistance to erosion. Since the size of blocks varies between layers depending on the depth of beds and joint spacing, variations occur in the magnitude of wave energies required to remove blocks. Therefore the rate at which the shore platform and cliff develops is geologically contingent and variable through time and space. The findings of this research: 1) highlights how rock control influences processes and rates of environmental change of a coastal landform; 2) illustrates the critical importance of local scale contingency in shaping/controlling environmental processes and resultant landforms and; 3) demonstrates that greater detail and quantification of geological parameters is required by geomorphologists in all aspects of rock geomorphology.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Naylor, Dr Larissa
Authors: Stephenson, W.J., and Naylor, L.A.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Coastal Research
Publisher:Coastal Education and Research Foundation
ISSN (Online):1551-5036

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