Characterising the impact of significant dune erosion along the Sefton Coast, NW England.

This source preferred by Luciana Esteves

Authors: Esteves, L.S. and Williams, J.J.

Editors: Rosati, J.D., Wang, P. and Roberts, T.M.

Start date: 2 May 2011

Pages: 684-697

DOI: 10.1142/9789814355537_0052

Identifying events likely to cause significant beach and dune erosion is essential for understanding long-term morphological changes and maintaining people and infrastructure safety. This study identifies periods of significant erosion along the dune frontage of the Sefton Coast to assess: (a) their effect on annual and decadal trends and (b) the alongshore variability of the erosion impact. Seven periods of significant erosion (i.e. erosion >20,000 m2 and mean dune retreat >2 m) occurred from 2001 to 2010. Despite causing widespread intense erosion, these events do not always result in increased annual or decadal erosion rates. Results indicate that the effects of ‘significant’ erosion events are short-lived, localised, and highly variable alongshore and through time. Therefore, the observed longterm erosion might be due to (a) the cumulative impacts of ‘lesser’ erosion events or (b) the imbalances between the slow daily accretion/erosion processes that are not easily monitored or measured.

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