Recent acceleration in coastal cliff retreat rates on the south coast of Great Britain

Hurst, M. D. , Rood, D. H., Ellis, M. A., Anderson, R. S. and Dornbusch, U. (2016) Recent acceleration in coastal cliff retreat rates on the south coast of Great Britain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 113(47), pp. 13336-13341. (doi:10.1073/pnas.1613044113) (PMID:27821750)

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Abstract

Significance: Cliffed coasts erode when attacked by energetic waves. Cliff retreat threatens coastal assets and livelihoods. Understanding rates of past erosion is vital to quantifying these risks, particularly when confronted with expected increases in storminess and sea level, and given continued human occupation and engineering of coastal regions. Historical observations of cliff retreat span 150 y at most. We derived past cliff retreat rates over millennial time scales for chalk cliffs on the south coast of Great Britain by interpreting measured cosmogenic nuclides with numerical models. Our results provide evidence for accelerated erosion in recent centuries, which we suggest is driven by reduced sediment supply and thinning of beaches in the face of environmental and anthropogenic changes.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by National Science Foundation Grants EAR- 1552883, EAR-0724960, and EAR-1331828 (to R.S.A.). This paper is published with the permission of the Executive Director of the British Geological Survey and was funded by the Land, Soil, and Coast research programme (BGS05002).
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Rood, Dr Dylan and Hurst, Dr Martin and Anderson, Mr Robert
Authors: Hurst, M. D., Rood, D. H., Ellis, M. A., Anderson, R. S., and Dornbusch, U.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
College of Science and Engineering > Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre
Journal Name:Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
ISSN:0027-8424
ISSN (Online):1091-6490
Published Online:22 November 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 National Academy of Sciences
First Published:First published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113(47):13336-13341
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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