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Swanage and Coastal Erosion

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Sketch Map of Swanage showing Coastal Features Coastal Erosion A coast is a long narrow zone where land and sea meet. The sea erodes the coast in four ways: * Hydraulic Action Lots of sea and water crashes against the land, and air and water are trapped and compressed in rock surface cracks. When the sea moves again the air expands explosivel weakening the rocks, enlarging the cracks and breaking pieces off. * Corrasion (abrasion) This is very effective and is caused by brocken rock fragments hitting the land, cliffs etc.. and breaking off other pieces of rocks. * Attrition This occurs when rock fragments grind against each other down into smaller and smoother pebbles and shingle and finally sand which is later deposited as beaches etc... * Corrosion This involves chemical action of sea on rock. If the rock is limestone, it dissolves in the sea water - some salts can also react with certain rocks and cause them to rot. Swanage Bay Swanage Bay is made up of a less dense rock called clay. For this feature it is wealden clay. Swanage Bay can be found between 043,787 and 047,812 on the map. This type of rock is non-permeable therefore it is easily eroded. Wave refraction, deposition and corrosion forms bays. Deposition is when sediments such and sand and shingle are washes onto the shore. If there are alternate bands of hard and softer rocks in the coastline, the harder rocks will take longer to erode than the softer rocks because the sea has less effect on the harder rocks. ...read more.


This is shows how fast the process takes place and so the process must be monitored on a constant basis so nothing unexpected will take place again. Therefore if the loss of land of planning to be stopped then sea defences are an important factor to consider. It is likely that the same problem with the cliff is going to take place again in that area of the Norfolk coastline in the future. The Main Reasons for Coastal Erosion The four main reasons for coastal erosion are geology, weathering, the sea and human activity. The geology of coast erosion has something to do with the type of rock the cliffs are made of. In North Norfolk the cliffs are made of soft rock, boulder clay. This clay is very easily eroded. During an ice age the weight of the ice sheet pushes that continent into the Earth's mantle; once the ice has melted, the continent rises again. This accounts for shoreline features being found some way inland in regions that were heavily glaciated during the Pleistocene period. Weathering is also involved with the erosion of the coast. With the help of rainfall slumping occurs. Slumping is when soft rock which lies above hard rock gets water logged and falls down the cliff into the sea. Freeze-thaw also helps with the process of coastal erosion. Freeze-thaw is the splitting of rocks by the alternate freezing and thawing of water trapped in cracks. Exfoliation, or onion-skin weathering, the flaking caused by the alternate expansion and contraction of rocks in response to extreme changes in temperature may also affect coastal erosion. ...read more.


They could either: * Manage the retreat - To plan to lose some of the land which is being eroded by the sea * Hold the line - When coastal defences are built to try and stop some of the coastal erosion * Advance the line - When the land is reclaimed. This option is not used in England but is used in Holland and other countries * Do nothing - The coastal erosion is left to do what it does best Shalini Patel 176 Colney Hatch Lane Muswell Hill London N10 1ET 13th June 2002 Norfolk County Council Norfolk England Dear Sir/Madam Having completed my investigation on coastal erosion and cliff collapse in Norfolk along the Overstrand and Mundesley coastline, I have come up with possible options that can be used to improve the coastal areas of North Norfolk. I have taken into an account the local residents and businesses in my recommendations. My points are: * To increase drainage along cliffs with the use of drainage pipes and gravel drains. * To use the armour blocks to protect the cliff bases to keep the local residents and businesses safe. * To use groynes to reduce long shore drift to increase the amount of tourists. * To slope cliff tops so that surface draining and vegetation can be encouraged. These options will also help to slow down erosion therefore cause less problems to the local residents and businesses in the area. Thanking you very much for taking time to read my suggestions and I hope you consider a few of my suggestions which I genuinely believe will be of enormous use. ...read more.

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