Much of the Thanet coastline is currently protected by man made defences but in a number of areas the coastline consists of undefended chalk cliffs. These cliffs can be subject to erosion. Coastal change is a natural, ongoing process that has always happened.
As sea water meets cliffs and shores, it causes sediment or rocks to be broken down and washed out to sea. In some instances, this material may be moved to a different part of the coast and deposited in large quantities, causing ‘accretion’ – the opposite of erosion, where shorelines may advance or build up with sediment over time. In fact, the sand and shingle that makes our beaches is a product of erosion, and to remain in place they need a continual supply of material.
Erosion can happen under any conditions, but its rate tends to increase when waves are powerful and water levels are high – for instance during storms or in high winds.
More information on cliff erosion, coastal change and predicted erosion rates can be found on the environment Agency’s website at:
Coastal erosion – https://www.gov.uk/check-plans-to-stop-coastal-erosion-in-your-area
Coastal change – https://www.gov.uk/browse/environment-countryside/flooding-extreme-weather/flooding-and-coastal-change Permalink