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    Will nature work with us? Erosion and flooding impacts on a UK barrier

    Pollard, J.A. and Brooks, Susan and Spencer, T. and Christie, E.K. and Moeller, I. (2019) Will nature work with us? Erosion and flooding impacts on a UK barrier. In: Wang, P. and Rosati, J.D. and Vallee, M. (eds.) Coastal Sediments 2019: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference. World Scientific, pp. 114-127. ISBN 9789811204494.

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    ‘Barrier island’ refers to a diverse collection of coastal landforms that often support substantial human populations, critical infrastructures, and ecosystems. Globally, many coastal barriers are experiencing climatically altered environmental forcing coupled with increasing anthropogenic pressures. This paper undertakes high resolution shoreline change analysis to reveal how Blakeney Point, a mixed sandy-gravel barrier located on the UK’s East Coast, has evolved over centennial, decadal and event timescales. We seek to establish the implications of barrier evolution, under contrasting management regimes, for present erosion and flooding hazards. Interrogating a series of alternative shoreline proxies reveals a series of interdependent behaviors. Over the 130-year period of study, Blakeney Point is shown to be rolling landward at a mean rate of 0.60 m a-1. Assuming continued landward retreat over the coming decades, future flood-generating storm events will encounter more landward shoreline positions than today. Superimposed on this trend, we observe the presence of alongshore migrating erosional hotspots which give rise to unpredictable morphologies at any given location on the spit. Finally, we find that instances of barrier setback are driven by individual storm events, which makes barrier retreat both highly variable and discontinuous in time and space. This is illustrated by the presence of overwash, particularly along stretches of the barrier that have experienced a recent shift in management regime towards a non-interventionist approach.


    Item Type: Book Section
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Sue Brooks
    Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2019 05:35
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:52


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