Chalk coast dynamics: Implications for understanding rock coast evolution

Cherith Moses*, David Robinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Rock cliffs and shore platforms are linked components of the world's coastal zone. Understanding of the dynamics of their relationships has been hindered by the often imperceptible changes that occur within human time scales. The Cretaceous Chalk coasts of northwest Europe, and particularly those of southeast England, are among the most dynamic, and most intensively studied, cliffed rock coasts in the world. Perceptible changes to both cliffs and platforms have been measured on monthly, seasonal, annual and decadal time scales. Through a review of previously published data and the addition of data not previously published, average cliff retreat rates are calculated as 0.49±0.38my-1 and platform erosion rates 3.999±3.208mmy-1. This paper highlights some of the interactions over time and space between process and measurement that continue to limit our understanding of the dynamics of rock coasts; in particular the link between rates of cliff retreat and platform erosion. It concludes by identifying fruitful areas for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-73
Number of pages11
JournalEarth-Science Reviews
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011


  • Chalk
  • Cliff
  • Coastal erosion
  • Rock coast
  • Shore platform
  • Weathering


Dive into the research topics of 'Chalk coast dynamics: Implications for understanding rock coast evolution'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this