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Coastal works at Hastings.

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Introduction

Coastal works at Hastings Introduction Coastal land use changes over the last 100 years at Hastings have had a profound effect on this whole stretch of coastline. * The cliff face has been protected to prevent rock falls and cliff retreat, with the result that the natural input of sediment into the coastal system has been slowed. * Groynes were built to the west in Victorian times to encourage the beach to accrete (build up), thus providing protection for the town but reducing material for long-shore drift. History and Protection schemes The harbour, built in 1896, accelerated this beach-building by providing an effective sediment trap for the longshore drift, which flows in an easterly direction. This has had the benefit of creating a well built-up beach up to 300 m wide on the updrift (western) side of the harbour arm. (Any surplus material is carried eastwards by the longshore drift, well beyond Hastings.) ...read more.

Middle

High-energy waves at the cliff foot ensured that eroded material was quickly dispersed, thus encouraging the continual movement of slides above the tidal zone. Throughout the 1970's, rates of retreat were 0.5-1.0 m a year. However, there were extreme events, such as the loss of 66 m in one night at Fairlight Cove in December 1979 when heavy rainfall Produced saturated groundwater conditions, mobilising landslides that had been initiated by Winter storms. In 1989, houses at the cliff top were abandoned and the adjacent Sea View road was closed to traffic. Conclusions It was believed that the 1970's extension of the harbour arm at Hastings had reduced the sediment input into the coastal system west of Fairlight and had worsened cliff erosion by reducing the width of the beach. With less sand, the base of the cliffs was now exposed to higher wave energies with the result that the rate of cliff retreat had increased to more than 1 m per year by the late 1980's. ...read more.

Conclusion

This now appears to be eroding more slowly. Knock on effects: The problems created at Pett Level This low-lying marshy area east of the small village of Cliff End has been drained since medieval times. It provides rough grazing for sheep and cattle, and there is some summer tourism. Most of Pett Level now lies below sea-level because of the contraction of sediments over 600 years. With an increase in the height of high tides and the incidence of storminess around this coast there is danger of flooding, which will be increased as sealevels rise with global warming. The marsh is protected by an embankment maintained by the Environment Agency. Hard defences, including groynes and wooden revetments and a sea wall, protect the embankment. Wave energy is reduced by concrete stepping on the western end. Beach nourishment is provided near Cliff End to protect the embankment from further erosion and to prevent flooding of the low-lying area. Costs of protection of a mainly agricultural area are increasingly being questioned. ...read more.

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