European Shore Platform Dynamics

Ed.: David A. Robinson; Yannick Lageat

2006. VI, 257 pages, 91 figures, 34 tables, 17x24cm, 630 g
Language: English

(Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie, Supplementbände, Volume 144)

ISBN 978-3-443-21144-8, paperback, price: 84.00 €

in stock and ready to ship

Order form

BibTeX file


Review: Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie 52/3 top ↑

The volume contains 12 papers, which present some of the results of the European Shore Platforms Erosional Dynamics project (ESPED) started in October 1998 and finished in December 2001. The aim of the project was to get more information about the physical, chemical and biological processes that control shore platform development on European rocky coast. In the introduction R.Williams gives an excellent overview to some unsolved problems concerning the question how shore platforms develop and to some central aims of the ESPED project.

The first three papers present methods for field measurements of platform surfaces and cliff retreat, and laboratory simulation of inter-tidal weathering and erosion processes. J. O. H.Swantesson, C. A. Moses, G. E. Berg & K. M. Jansson outline detailed micro-erosion measurements with micro-erosion meters (MEMs) and with laser scanners at twenty coastal sites on rocky shore platforms along the European Atlantic coast. As a result of repeated measurements between 1999 and 2001, different annual micro-erosion rates and their dependency on exposure to the sea and rock types are shown. For predicting platform downwearing rates C. A. Moses, D. A.Robinson, R. B. G.Williams & F. M. S.F.Marques present the results of laboratory simulation experiments of rock weathering and abrasion processes. A simple and cost-effective procedure of measuring sea-cliff retreat from aerial photographs is described by F. M. S.F.Marques.

The five subsequent papers deal with processes of shore-platform morphologies and evolution. A.Hènaff, Y.Lageat & S. Costa give an excellent geomorphological description of shore platforms on both sides of the English Channel and discuss the complex interactions of different processes, which influence shore-platform morphology and the evolution of cliff/platform systems.Y.Foote, E. Plessis, D. A.Robinson, A.Hénaff & S. Costa present the results of field measurements of surface erosion on chalk-shore platform at both sides of the English Channel. They describe significant differences of erosion rates in both space and time. Shore platforms in two contrasting micro-tidal, low wave energy environments (Mallorcan, Catalonian and Swedish coast) are described by L. Gómesz-Pujol, E. M.Cruslock, J. J.Fornós, & J. O. H.Swantesson. They state that in these environments the characteristics of present-day platforms apparently depend on factors other than wave exposure and rock resistance, and they assume that dominant factors are such as inheritance and rates of uplift. J. O. H.Swantesson, L. Gómez-Pujol, E. M.Cruslock, J. J.Fornós & P. Balaguer present processes and patterns of erosion on micro-tidal coastal sections in Sweden and in the western Mediterranean between 1999 and 2001, using micro erosion meter (MEM) and laser scanning measurements. They state that faster erosion rates observed in carbonate rocks in the investigated western Mediterranean coastal sites can mainly be ascribed to greater bioerosion and higher salinity of the seawater. Species-specific bioerosion rates on Mallorcan carbonate coasts are investigated by J. J.Fornós, G. X.Pons, L. Gómez-Pujol & P. Balaguer. The authors point out that actual erosion rates of the two most common bioerosive species Melaraphe neritoides and Patella sp. depend more on the abundance of these species than on rock density and texture.

The last four papers deal with studies of processes and patterns of cliff retreat and the role of shingle beaches. Y.Lageat, A.Hénaff & S. Costa describe erosion processes and cliff retreat of the chalk cliffs at the Normandy coast, where rockfall and rockslides are the basic driving mechanism of cliff recession. They emphasize that the loss of protective shingle material in front of the cliffs may result in a significant increase of cliff erosion. The contribution of gravel beaches to the dynamics of coastal cliff-shore platform systems at the chalk cliffs of NW France are illustrated by S. Costa, A.Hénaff & Y. Lageat. The authors discuss the complex inter-relationships between cliff retreat, widening of shore platforms and the role of gravel beaches, and consider the influence of the coastal sedimentary budget as well as the impact of recent human action and longer-term geological inheritance. Based on historical map data and digital elevation models U. Dornbusch, D. A.Robinson, C. A. Moses & R. B. G.Williams present measurements of cliff erosion and shore platform downwearing at the chalky coast of East Sussex. The authors have used the flint content of the chalk outcrops in the cliff to calculate its contribution to the shingle budget in Sussex. They assume that the shingle beaches are fossil deposits and not a product of Holocene cliff erosion. In the final paper F. M. S.F.Marques reports erosion rates, types, pattern, timing, magnitude and frequency of sea cliff retreat phenomena at three coastal sites on the west coast of Portugal over short-term (1999–2003) and medium-term (1947–2000) regional scales. Cliff retreat data and the estimation of sediment volumina were made by comparisons of aerial photographs and by comparisons of pairs of stereoscopic field photos of the cliff faces.

The volume excellently presents some of the activities of the European Shore Platforms Erosional Dynamics project-group and provides an interesting access to different aspects of shore-platform evolution and cliff retreat in rocky shore environments. The volume offers many impressive details of investigation methods, patterns, timing and the extent of shore platform dynamics, which are illustrated at a wide variety of European coastal sites. The volume is a great help in concerns understanding the processes, the patterns and inter-relationships between cliff erosion, shore platform evolution and shingle beach formation, and will be a good starting point for ongoing research.

Gerhard Schellmann, Bamberg

Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie 52/3

Contents top ↑

Introduction V-VI
Methodology and laboratory simulation
Swantesson, J.O.H., Moses, C.A., Berg, G.E. & Jansson, K.M.: Methods
for measuring shore platform micro erosion: A comparison of
the micro-erosion meter and laser scanner (with 5 figures and
1 table) 1-17
Moses, C.A., Robinson, D.A., Williams, R.B.G. & Marques, F.M.S.F.:
Predicting rates of shore platform downwearing from rock
geotechnical properties and labora- tory simulation of
weathering and erosion processes (with 5 tables) 19-37
Marques, F.M.S.F.: A simple method for the measurement of cliff
retreat from aerial photographs (with 10 figures and 1 table)
Shore platform morphologies and rates of erosion Henaff, A., Lageat,
Y. & Costa, S.: Geomorphology and shaping processes of chalk
shore platforms of the Channel coasts (with 16 figures) 61-91
Foote, Y., Plessis, E., Robinson, D.A., Henaff, A. & Costa, S.: Rates
and patterns of downwearing of chalk shore platforms of the
Channel: comparisons between France and England (with 8
figures and 4 tables) 93-115
Gomez-Pujol, L., Cruslock, E.M., Fornos, J.J. & Swantesson, J.O.H.:
Unravelling factors that control shore platforms and cliffs in
microtidal coasts: the case of Mallorcan, Catalonian and
Swedish coasts (with 5 figures and 4 tables) 117-135
Swantesson, J.O.H., Gomez-Pujol, L., Cruslock, E.M., Fornos, J.J. &
Balaguer, P.: Processes and patterns of erosion and
downwearing on micro-tidal rock coasts in Sweden and the
western Mediterranean (with 8 figures and 2 tables) 137-160
Fornos, J.J., Pons, G.X., Gomez-Pujol, L. & Balaguer, P.: The role of
biological processes and rates of downwearing due to grazing
organisms on Mallorcan carbonate coasts (western
Mediterranean) (with 6 figures and 4 tables) 161-181
Cliff retreat and shingle beaches
Lageat, Y., Henaff, A. & Costa, S.: The retreat of the chalk cliffs of
the Pays de Caux (France): erosion processes and patterns (with 9
figures and 1 table) 183-197
Costa, S., Henaff, A. & Lageat, Y.: The gravel beaches of north-west
France and their contribution so the dynamic of the coastal
cliff-shore platform system (zenith 12 figures) 199-214
Dornbusch, U., Robinson, D.A., Moses, C.A. & Williams, .B.G.: Chalk
coast erosion and its contribution to the shingle budget in East
Sussex (with 5 figures and 4 tables) 215-230
Marques, F.M.S.F.: Rates, patterns, timing and magnitude-frequency of
cliff retreat phenomena. A case study on the west coast of Portugal
(with 7 figures and 8 tables) 231-257