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Measurement of historical cliff-top changes and estimation of future trends using GIS data between Bridlington and Hornsea – Holderness Coast (UK)

Castedo, Ricardo, de la Vega-Panizo, Rogelio, Fernández-Hernández, Marta, Paredes, Carlos
Geomorphology 2015 v.230 pp. 146-160
aerial photography, climate change, coastal zone management, coasts, equations, erosion control, geographic information systems, geometry, managers, mathematical models, prediction, sea level, shorelines, United Kingdom
A key requirement for effective coastal zone management is good knowledge of historical rates of change and the ability to predict future shoreline evolution, especially for rapidly eroding areas. Historical shoreline recession analysis was used for the prediction of future cliff shoreline positions along a section of 9km between Bridlington and Hornsea, on the northern area of the Holderness Coast, UK. The analysis was based on historical maps and aerial photographs dating from 1852 to 2011 using the Digital Shoreline Analysis System (DSAS) 4.3, extension of ESRI’s ArcInfo 10.×. The prediction of future shorelines was performed for the next 40years using a variety of techniques, ranging from extrapolation from historical data, geometric approaches like the historical trend analysis, to a process-response numerical model that incorporates physically-based equations and geotechnical stability analysis. With climate change and sea-level rise implying that historical rates of change may not be a reliable guide for the future, enhanced visualization of the evolving coastline has the potential to improve awareness of these changing conditions. Following the IPCC, 2013 report, two sea-level rise rates, 2mm/yr and 6mm/yr, have been used to estimate future shoreline conditions. This study illustrated that good predictive models, once their limitations are estimated or at least defined, are available for use by managers, planners, engineers, scientists and the public to make better decisions regarding coastal management, development, and erosion-control strategies.