Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

A Quantitative Assessment of the Annual Contribution of Platform Down Wearing to Beach Sediment Budget: Happisburgh, England, UK

Version 1 : Received: 18 September 2018 / Approved: 18 September 2018 / Online: 18 September 2018 (11:43:26 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Payo, A.; Walkden, M.; Ellis, M.A.; Barkwith, A.; Favis-Mortlock, D.; Kessler, H.; Wood, B.; Burke, H.; Lee, J. A Quantitative Assessment of the Annual Contribution of Platform Downwearing to Beach Sediment Budget: Happisburgh, England, UK. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2018, 6, 113. Payo, A.; Walkden, M.; Ellis, M.A.; Barkwith, A.; Favis-Mortlock, D.; Kessler, H.; Wood, B.; Burke, H.; Lee, J. A Quantitative Assessment of the Annual Contribution of Platform Downwearing to Beach Sediment Budget: Happisburgh, England, UK. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2018, 6, 113.

Journal reference: J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2018, 6, 113
DOI: 10.3390/jmse6040113

Abstract

Field and numerical investigations at Happisburgh, East coast of England, UK, sought to characterize beach thickness and determine geologic framework controls on coastal change. After a major failure of coastal protection infrastructure, removal of about 1 km of coastal defense along the otherwise protected cliffed coastline of Happisburgh triggered a period of rapid erosion over 20 years of ca. 140 m. Previous sensitivity studies suggested that that beach thickness plays a major role in coastal recession. These studies were limited, however, by a lack of beach volume data. In this study, we have integrated the insights gained from our understanding of the Quaternary geology of the area, a novel non-intrusive passive seismic survey method, and a 3D novel representation of the subsurface source and transportable material into a coastal modelling environment to explore the role of beach thickness on the back wearing and down wearing of the cliffs and consolidated platform, respectively. Results show that beach thickness is non-homogeneous along the study site: we estimate that the contribution to nearshore sediment budget via platform down wearing is of a similar order of magnitude as sediment lost from the beach and therefore non-negligible. We have provided a range of evidence to support the idea that the Happisburgh beach is a relatively thin layer perched on a sediment rich platform of sand and gravel. This conceptualization differs from previous publications, which assumes that the platform was mostly till and fine material. This has direct implication on the regional sediment management of along this coastline. The present study contributes to our understanding of a poorly known aspect of coastal sediment budgeting and outlines a quantitative approach that allows for simple integration of geological understanding for coastline evolution assessments worldwide.

Subject Areas

erosion; morphodynamic; non-intrusive; down wearing; back wearing; modelling; geological ground model

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