Foreshore narrowing along the coast of southeast England, UK - A reevaluation

Uwe Dornbusch*, Rendel B.G. Williams, Cherith A. Moses, David A. Robinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Foreshore (intertidal) narrowing and steepening have become increasingly discussed issues in coastal management. With rising sea levels they could be expected to lead to higher wave energies reaching the shore, thus enhancing rates of erosion. The present paper investigates changes in the position of the tide lines in Southeast England as measured from historic and modern maps. The changes can be partly explained by sea-level rise and shore platform erosion, but appear to be due mainly to systematic errors associated with the map sources. Comparison of the positional change of tide lines along the 170 km of chalk coast from East Sussex to the Isle of Thanet suggests that evidence for large-scale foreshore narrowing is meagre. The most likely scenario is one of parallel profile retreat resulting from natural processes such as relative sea-level rise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-24
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Coastal Research
Issue number4 SUPPL.
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2008


  • Beach steepening
  • Chalk shore platform
  • Coastal squeeze
  • Coastal steepening
  • Intertidal shortening
  • Ordnance survey maps
  • Sandy foreshore
  • Sea-level rise


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