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    Shoreline retreat and sediment release in response to accelerating sea level rise: measuring and modelling cliffline dynamics on the Suffolk Coast, UK

    Brooks, Susan M. and Spencer, T. (2012) Shoreline retreat and sediment release in response to accelerating sea level rise: measuring and modelling cliffline dynamics on the Suffolk Coast, UK. Global and Planetary Change 80-81 , pp. 165-179. ISSN 0921-8181.

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    Abstract

    Contemporary and historic data for shoreline retreat are used to evaluate and test a range of models that predict shoreline response to accelerating sea level rise. Models are tested against the known record of sea level rise acceleration over the twentieth century on the cliffline position of a series of soft rock cliffs located along the Suffolk Coast, UK. These cliffs have experienced high retreat rates throughout the twentieth century (between 2 and 4.5 m a-1). The shoreline response model most suited to such an assessment is the SCAPE model, with a close fit between actual and modelled shoreline positions. Retreating shorelines also have associated changes in alongshore elevation, an aspect of shoreline retreat that has attracted little attention. Recently acquired IfSar data now permit detailed and accurate assessment of ground elevation from which the elevation of future clifflines can be derived. Combining elevation data with future shoreline retreat, also predicted using the SCAPE model, enables future sediment release from the cliffs to be evaluated. The methodology has the ability to take into account alongshore variability in retreat rates, where previously most studies focus upon a single rate for a given shoreline. This paper thereby identifies behaviour based around “switching on”, “no change” and “switching off” in cliff systems. Volumes of sediment released in the twenty first century in response to accelerating sea level rise are likely to be considerable (up to 300 000 m3 a-1) for the Suffolk study area, and around an order of magnitude above the sediment release estimates for the early twentieth century under lower rates of sea level rise. The implications for shoreline protection offered from additional sediment in the nearshore zone are discussed.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): sea level rise, shoreline response models, cliff elevation, sediment release, NextMap, nearshore sandbanks
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Geography, Environment and Development Studies
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2011 10:05
    Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:21
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/4265

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