ABSTRACT

The major issues dealt with in this chapter are geotechnical problems, especially related to cliff recession and failures, pollution, and the response of rocky shores to future climatic changes. Cliffs and shore platforms are usually found intermixed with beaches and other coastal landforms. Cliffs occur as headlands between bay beaches, for example, and also as cliff lines at the back of large expanses of beach. Cliffs and rock platforms can, therefore, be regarded as small scale coastal features. Cliff morphologies vary according to rock or material characteristics, inland topography, tectonics, and present and past erosion regimes. Stable cliffs in hard rocks are characterized by small to negligible erosion rates and steep or plunging morphology. Cliff failure can be a major nuisance and economic problem, although it only rarely leads to loss of life. Cliffs prone to failure are characterized by moderate to high recession rates. They often have complex profiles, produced by a combination of mass movements and marine erosion.