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An adaptive management policy for coastal retreat
Group Members
Nikolajs Anosovs, Yin Hang Chan, Chantelle Clapham, Max Costaras, Olayinka Olomo, Paul Staples, Alexandros Yiakoumis
Dr Joel Smethurst, Professor Robert Nicholls
This project has designed a plan to manage cliff erosion, negotiating current environmental and funding constraints. This plan is novel in that it considers an adaptive management policy for the next 100 years, which has been broken down into three epochs: 0 to 20 years, 20 to 50 years and 50 to 100 years management.

The community of Barton-on-Sea, Hampshire, sits above steep, 35 m cliffs consisting of a mixture of sand and claylayers. The cliffs are failing due to both coastal erosion and groundwater movements which induce a mixture of bench slides, mudslides and cliff toe erosion. If no active intervention occurs at the current rate of erosion, an estimated 283 properties are expected to be lost in the next 100 years at a cost of £ 660,000 per year, not including the effects on local businesses and tourism. Only limited funding is available from the government for intervention measures due to the minor short-term impacts on the local community. Project innovation has led to a new division of the site into five Cliff Behavioural Units (CBUs) based on geological and geomorphological variations along the coastline.

This project has produced new analysis on the Barton-on-Sea site including an updated assessment on the current rate of erosion and extensive slope stability analysis for each CBU. The new approach will combine drainage designs, regrading sections of the slope and a combination of continued monitoring and maintenance of existing infrastructure to protect the local community from coastal erosion, where sustainable.