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The Holderness Coastline is one of the fastest eroding coasts in Western Europe. Explain why this is so.

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Introduction

The Holderness Coastline is one of the fastest eroding coasts in Western Europe. Explain why this is so. The infamous Holderness Coastline is located on the East coast of Yorkshire, stretching from Flamborough Head to Spurn Point. In the last 2000 years the coastline has retreated by almost 400m and since Roman times over 28 villages have disappeared into the sea between Bridlington and Spurn Head. About a million years ago the Yorkshire coastline was a line of chalk cliffs almost 32km west of where it now is. During the Ice Age deposits of soft boulder clay were built up against these cliffs to form the new coastline. It is this soft sand and clay which is easily eroded by the action of waves, as the ocean slowly claims back the region it used to occupy. There are several factors which have resulted in this region experiencing one of the fastest rates of erosion. One already mentioned is the material which is being eroded, or the geology of the land. ...read more.

Middle

The material eroded and transported elsewhere results in little material left to form beaches, which act as a barrier to protect the cliff line from tides, currents and storms, therefore the sea's processed are able to keep cutting back the cliff line. The weather also has a large influence. Often there are winter storm surges producing higher waves, and higher sea levels, meaning higher energy erosion. In addition is increased sub-aerial denudation brought about by the heavy rain and strong winds. This often leads to increased slumping and other forms of mass movement. A good example of the result of extreme conditions is the North Sea Storm Surge, resulting in about 7 metres of the coastline lost overnight in 1953. Human intervention is also responsible for some of the fastest eroding areas of coast as well as the uneven distribution of sea deposits. This is a result of efforts to preserve the coastline, and even to create beaches. The most common method used is the construction of groynes which are large and expensive 'wall's built at right angles to the coastline which interrupt long-shore drift causing the deposition of material being carried southwards. ...read more.

Conclusion

One of the greatest concerns which has arisen as a consequence of coastal erosion in this area is what will come of the Gas Terminal station in Easington which was once hundreds of metres away, but is now only a few feet. The loss of the Gas Terminal would result in the loss of hundreds of jobs and the loss of a very expensive structure. This would cause a great change upon human activity in the area, and there seems little that can be done to economically protect it. Land and house prices along the coastline have fallen dramatically, and some people have opted to pay thousands to have their houses moved back from the coastline to savour at most a few more years' occupancy. The overall population of the area is falling, as there are few attractive prospects to either keep existing people there or attract new people. Many businesses are losing out, as tourism in the region decreases, so does income, and therefore profit. This is affecting shops, holiday parks, and hotels. ...read more.

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