Happisburgh Case Study Geography Gcse Edexcel

Presentation on theme: "Chapter 2: Coastal Landscapes and Processes NEXT EDEXCEL GCSE GEOGRAPHY A TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES Chapter 2 Coastal Landscapes and Processes Image."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 2: Coastal Landscapes and Processes NEXT EDEXCEL GCSE GEOGRAPHY A TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES Chapter 2 Coastal Landscapes and Processes Image bank

2 Chapter 2: Coastal Landscapes and Processes NEXT EDEXCEL GCSE GEOGRAPHY A TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES Figure 2.1 Biological weathering.

3 Chapter 2: Coastal Landscapes and Processes NEXT Figure 2.2 Slumping east of Bowleaze Cove, Dorset.

4 Chapter 2: Coastal Landscapes and Processes NEXT EDEXCEL GCSE GEOGRAPHY A TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES Figure 2.3 The process of longshore drift.

5 Chapter 2: Coastal Landscapes and Processes NEXT EDEXCEL GCSE GEOGRAPHY A TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES Figure 2.4 Chalk cliffs with bedding planes, Old Harry Rocks at Handfast Point, near Swanage, Dorset. Stack Bedding plane Arch Lines of weakness in the rock

6 Chapter 2: Coastal Landscapes and Processes NEXT EDEXCEL GCSE GEOGRAPHY A TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES Figure 2.5 Lulworth Cove, Dorset.

7 Chapter 2: Coastal Landscapes and Processes NEXT EDEXCEL GCSE GEOGRAPHY A TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES Figure 2.6 A destructive wave.

8 Chapter 2: Coastal Landscapes and Processes NEXT EDEXCEL GCSE GEOGRAPHY A TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES Figure 2.7 A constructive wave.

9 Chapter 2: Coastal Landscapes and Processes NEXT EDEXCEL GCSE GEOGRAPHY A TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES Figure 2.8 The fetch of waves around the British coastline.

10 Chapter 2: Coastal Landscapes and Processes NEXT EDEXCEL GCSE GEOGRAPHY A TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES Figure 2.9 The formation of headlands and bays.

11 Chapter 2: Coastal Landscapes and Processes NEXT EDEXCEL GCSE GEOGRAPHY A TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES Figure 2.10 The formation of cliffs and wave-cut platforms.

12 Chapter 2: Coastal Landscapes and Processes NEXT EDEXCEL GCSE GEOGRAPHY A TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES Figure 2.11 The formation of caves, arches, stacks and stumps.

13 Chapter 2: Coastal Landscapes and Processes NEXT EDEXCEL GCSE GEOGRAPHY A TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES Figure 2.12 The formation of a spit.

14 Chapter 2: Coastal Landscapes and Processes NEXT EDEXCEL GCSE GEOGRAPHY A TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES Figure 2.13 A bar in Devon. A bar joined to the coastline at both ends A lagoon formed by the bar and the small streams flowing into this area

15 Chapter 2: Coastal Landscapes and Processes NEXT EDEXCEL GCSE GEOGRAPHY A TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES Figure 2.14 Porlock Bay, Somerset. Farmland, which is flooded at high tide, becoming a salt marsh Shingle ridge no longer defended from the sea

16 Chapter 2: Coastal Landscapes and Processes NEXT EDEXCEL GCSE GEOGRAPHY A TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES Figure 2.15 The lifeboat station and ramp, Happisburgh. Happisburgh lifeboat station Clay and sand cliff easily eroded Remains of lifeboat station ramp Broken revetments Houses on Beach Road

17 Chapter 2: Coastal Landscapes and Processes NEXT EDEXCEL GCSE GEOGRAPHY A TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES Figure 2.16 Beach Road terminating in the sea.

18 Chapter 2: Coastal Landscapes and Processes NEXT EDEXCEL GCSE GEOGRAPHY A TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES Figure 2.17 The Dawlish railway line after the storm.

19 Chapter 2: Coastal Landscapes and Processes NEXT EDEXCEL GCSE GEOGRAPHY A TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES Figure 2.18 Sea walls are usually made of concrete; the newer ones have a recurved top, like this one at Blackpool. Can cause wave scouring if not positioned correctly. Visual impact – they can be very large structures which have a major impact on the local landscape Ugly – puts tourists off. Very visible – makes residents feel safe. Stops the coastline receding by interfering with the natural processes occurring on the coastline. Cost – £6,000 per linear metre. Reflects and absorbs wave energy. Effective for many years

20 Chapter 2: Coastal Landscapes and Processes NEXT EDEXCEL GCSE GEOGRAPHY A TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES Figure 2.19 Groynes are usually made of rock or wood like these at St. Bees in Cumbria; they stretch from the coastline into the sea. Keeps beach in place for the tourist industry Can have a visual impact. Effective for many years. Cost – £400 per metre for 1 metre high wooden groyne. Disrupts the natural processes at work on the beach. Prevents longshore drift – sand builds up on one side of the groyne. Difficult to walk along the beach. Unattractive.

21 Chapter 2: Coastal Landscapes and Processes NEXT EDEXCEL GCSE GEOGRAPHY A TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES Figure 2.20 Rip rap are large rocks placed in front of a cliff; these are below a landscaped cliff at Whitby in Yorkshire. Unattractive. Can be cheap depending on rock type use Dissipates wave energy. Effective for many years Visually intrusive if placed on a sandy beach. Introduces foreign rock types to an area. Not effective in storm conditions. Can make beach inaccessible for tourist

22 Chapter 2: Coastal Landscapes and Processes NEXT EDEXCEL GCSE GEOGRAPHY A TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES Figure 2.21 Swanage beach in 2005 and after (2007) the placing of sand and pebbles on a beach, known as beach nourishment. May affect plant and animal life in the area. Requires constant maintenance as it is washed away quickly. Disrupts home owners – large noisy lorries regularly visit the area to replenish the beach. Good use of sand dredged from harbours and ports. Provides beach for tourists. Cheap – £6,500 per 100 metres. The beach dissipates wave energy and is the best form of natural defence. Looks natural.

23 Chapter 2: Coastal Landscapes and Processes NEXT EDEXCEL GCSE GEOGRAPHY A TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES Figure 2.22 Offshore reefs in Norfolk: enormous concrete blocks, natural boulders or even tyres are sunk offshore to alter wave direction and dissipate wave energy. They allow the build up of sand due to the reduction in wave energy. Visual impact – they change the way that the coastal landscape looks. The waves break further offshore, which reduces their erosive power. They interfere with natural processes such as longshore drift. Difficult to install the reefs. Cost – £1,950 per metre. May be removed by heavy storms.

24 Chapter 2: Coastal Landscapes and Processes NEXT EDEXCEL GCSE GEOGRAPHY A TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES Figure 2.23 A dispersion diagram of pebble size.

25 Chapter 2: Coastal Landscapes and Processes NEXT EDEXCEL GCSE GEOGRAPHY A TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES Figure 2.24 An aerial photograph of part of the Isle of Purbeck.

26 Chapter 2: Coastal Landscapes and Processes NEXT EDEXCEL GCSE GEOGRAPHY A TEACHING AND LEARNING RESOURCES Figure 2.26 Simplified geological map of the Isle of Purbeck.

Happisburgh, on Norfolk's North Sea coast, is a village with a population of 1400 people in about 600 houses. The village contains a notable stone church dating from the 14th century, an impressive manor house, listed buildings and a famous red and white striped lighthouse (Figure 1).

Although now a coastal village, Happisburgh was once some distance from the sea, parted from the coast by the parish of Whimpwell, long since eroded away. Historic records indicate that over 250 m of land were lost between 1600 and 1850.

More recently the village was affected by the tragic floods of 1953 that claimed the lives of 76 Norfolk residents. Figure 2 gives an example of the rapid coastal erosion at Happisburgh.

Coastal defences built at Happisburgh have slowed down the rate of retreat. However, large sections are now in disrepair. Sea-level rise and climate change, including increased storminess, may also increase the rate of erosion. Agriculture and tourism contribute significantly to the economy of the village and surrounding hinterland although this is threatened by the receding cliff line that, prior to the construction of a rock embankment at the northern end of the survey site, had claimed at least one property per year plus significant quantities of agricultural land.

Detailed geology

The cliffs at Happisburgh range in height from 6 to 10 m and are composed of a layer-cake sequence of several glacial tills (Figure 3), separated by beds of stratified silt, clay and sand (Hart, 1987; Lunkka, 1988; Hart, 1999; Lee, 2003). The basal unit within the stratigraphic succession at Happisburgh is the How Hill Member of the Wroxham Crag Formation. These deposits are typically buried beneath modern beach material but are periodically exposed following storms (Figure 3). They consist of stratified brown sands and clays with occasional quartzose-rich gravel seams that are interpreted as inter-tidal/shallow marine in origin.

Unconformably overlying these marine deposits are a series of glacial lithologies deposited during several advances of glacier ice into the region during the Middle Pleistocene (c.780 to 430 ka BP) (Lee et al., 2002; Lee et al., 2004). The survey site has a tripartite geological succession.

The Happisburgh Till Member, crops-out at the base of the cliffs and its base is frequently obscured by modern beach material: it has a maximum thickness of 3 m. The Happisburgh Till Member is a dark grey, highly consolidated till with a matrix composed of a largely massive clayey sand with rare (<1%) pebbles of local and far-travelled material.

The upper surface of the till undulates and comprises a series of ridges and troughs upon which the overlying Ostend Clay member outcrops. This unit is between 2.3 and 3.4 m thick and consists of thinly-laminated light grey silts and dark grey clays.

In turn, these beds are overlain by 2 to 4 m, of weak, stratified sand (Happisburgh Sand Member) with occasional silty-clay horizons.

Coastal erosion


It is likely that the Norfolk cliffs have been eroding at the present rate for about the last 5000 years when sea level rose to within a metre or two of its present position (Clayton, 1989). Therefore, the future predictions of sea level rise and storm frequency due to climate change are likely to have a profound impact on coastal erosion and serious consequences for the effectiveness of coastal protection and sea defence schemes in East Anglia in the near future (Thomalla and Vincent, 2003).

Rapid erosion of the cliffs at Happisburgh means that we can observe processes that for other sites may normally take thousands of years. This means that we can look for patterns in the erosion at Happisburgh, which may help our understanding of sites elsewhere that are eroding more slowly.

Survey results


As part of a programme of work monitoring coastal erosion and landsliding at several sites around the coast of Great Britain, we are surveying the cliffs adjacent to the village of Happisburgh in Norfolk — see Terrestrial LiDAR Survey Techniques

The resulting computer model (Figure 4 ) enables volume calculations and observations to be made as to the way in which the coast is eroding. The results from the survey provide data for models of coastal recession.

From this survey, the following conceptual model has been proposed (Figure 5).

  1. In winter, erosion caused by groundwater as seen in the gullying of the cliff face, coupled with increased seasonal storminess, causes small-scale, frequent, shallow landsliding in the Happisburgh Sand Member. The Happisburgh Sand Member is easily eroded and undercutting of the cliff toe reduces slope stability and cliff failure occurs. The beach surface is low and scouring of the upper surface of the till extends the till platform.
  2. In summer, the beach surface is higher and covers the 'winter platform'. Wave attack is the dominant form of erosion accompanied by landsliding in the Happisburgh Sands.

The cliff surface profiles show that the erosion process is non-uniform, involving the cyclic formation of a series of embayments that continually enlarge (Figure 6). This could infer landsliding processes involving block falls, mudflows and running sand.

For more information on the results from this survey see:

Hobbs, P.R.N., Pennington, C.V.L, Pearson, S. G., Jones, L.D., Foster, C., Lee, J. R. & Gibson, A. (in press), Slope Dynamics Project Report: Norfolk Coast (2000-2006), British Geological Survey Open Report OR/08/018.

Poulton, C.V.L. 2004. Disappearing Coasts, Planet Earth, Volume Summer 2004, 26-27.

Poulton, C.V.L., Lee, J.R., Jones, L.D., Hobbs, P.R.N., and Hall, M. 2006. Preliminary investigation into monitoring coastal erosion using terrestrial laser scanning: case study at Happisburgh, Norfolk, UK: Bulletin of the Geological Society of Norfolk, 56, 45-65.

Photo gallery

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Contact the Landslide Response Team

British Geological Survey
Keyworth
Nottingham
NG12 5GG

E-mail:Landslides team
Telephone: 0115 936 3143
Fax: 0115 936 3276


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