Erosion Management on the Holderness Coast


  • Dayna Hogan Memorial University


The Holderness coastline is located on the east coast of England, facing the North Sea. The coastline consists mainly of till deposits, boulder clays and glacier clays and contains very little woodland. It is the fastest eroding coastline of Europe, losing approximately 1.5 m per year, or two million tonnes of land. This is caused by several factors including its geology and its exposure to long waves from the North Sea. The loss of this much land area has a significant impact on the residents of the area, with many roads and structures at risk of erosion. Preventative measures have been taken to slow the erosion rate such as groynes, sea walls and off-shore breakwaters. Due to factors like global warming and decreasing sea ice, coastal erosion will be a significant future issue in many parts of the world. As sea levels rise waves begin to affect parts of coastlines farther inshore and with less sea ice to protect them, northern coastlines will feel erosion more strongly. The extreme case of erosion of the Holderness coastline can be used to help predict the patterns of cost lines in the future. Its accelerated erosion rate allows data to be collected that would have to be over a longer period of time in most areas. This paper will outline the environmental and economic advantages to maintaining and observing the Holderness coastline. It will discuss the challenges and current solutions to slow erosion and show future possibilities for the coastline.






Coastal and Ocean Engineering (ENGI.8751)