Case study: Holderness Coast

Longshore Drift on the Holderness Coast

1. Using for an introduction, the material you prepared in your study of the Holderness Coast as a sediment cell, you are going to prepare a full Coastal Management case study – setting out the steps that have been taken to reduce coastal retreat and what will be the most cost-effective and efficient way to manage the coast.

2. Your handout gives you a basic introduction to the coastal management issues and you now have to build on that information. The introductory 10-minute video on the Holderness coast seen in class may be watched again if you find it useful: “>

You should use the additional source materials provided below and also undertake your own research using the Internet and find up-to-date information about the current state of the battle against the sea on this coast.

3. Source materials which you are expected to read fully and use to inform your own case study:


University of Hull Historical overview of Holderness Erosion

Holderness SMP Summary

4. Using the coastal management information from your text, pages 250-253, and also further research on the Internet related to Holderness, your report should comment on a full range of hard and soft engineering solutions.

5. Compare and contrast the erosion problems of towns or villages on the Holderness coast and in each case develop the details of what their particular problems are and what coastal management decisions they have taken (or actions they plan to take) to stop the erosion. Set out your report following the model of the case study of the USA eastern seaboard (pages 253 – 255) which you should study carefully to see what sort of data needs to be found to inform your report. Nature of the problem, the scale of the threat to the coast, the time scale of action taken, what solutions have been proposed, and above all you must provide an assessment of the situation with recommendations for future action, including detailed engineering solutions.

This piece of writing will be the main outcome for this part of the unit: a properly finished case study which will be useful in future examinations.  

Hard engineering: the following is a bit dull in presentation but covers the main points with useful costings of hard engineering solutions.

Where a sea current flows along a coast, tides move beach material – sand, shingle, cobbles, rocks – in the same general direction by a process known as longshore drift.

If transfer of material is at any point interrupted, either naturally or by a protective structure such as a groyne or seawall, then the local sediment budget is adversely affected. Material tends to be washed out to sea leaving adjacent beach levels reduced and allowing waves to deliver greater destructive energy at the base of the cliffs.



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