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Case Study
The Holderness Coast

Hornsea - view south



Hornsea is a small coastal town located between Bridlington and Withernsea along the Holderness Coast. A 2.9km stretch of shoreline fronts the town of Hornsea. A high density urban development containing residential and various tourist related properties, Hornsea's local economy is dependent on tourism and recreation as well as incorporating a small fishing industry.

Hornsea lies upon unconsolidated till. This material was deposited by glaciers during the last ice age 18,000 years ago.

Coastal Features
The groynes on Hornsea beach ensure wide and relatively steep beaches. The beach material is made up of sand and shingle.

Coastal Management
The position of the coastline at Hornsea has been artificially fixed since existing coastal defences were erected in the early 1900s. Hard defences in the form of a concrete seawall and timber groynes afford protection and an on going refurbishment programme ensure this has continued.

The videos below shows the importance of the sea wall at Hornsea, particularly during a spring high tide combined with strong winds!.

You can view more Internet Geography videos on our video area.

More recently a stone gabion and steel reventment has been erected to the south of Hornsea. This helps protect the caravan park.

You can view more Internet Geography videos on our video area.

The video below shows the steel reventment during storm conditions. Notice how the steel reventment in the foreground and the stone gabion in the background help absorb the energy of the waves. However, they are not enough to stop the sea from reaching the base of the soft boulder clay cliffs.

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Beach material is being transported south along the Holderness Coast by longshore drift. In Hornsea sand has accumulated where protection exists. This is because the groynes provide a barrier to sediment transportation. This has reduced erosion along the front of the town but increased rates are evident further south where the defences stop. The video below demonstrates this.

You can view more Internet Geography videos on our video area.

Hornsea Photo Gallery

Click the images below to see a larger version of each. PC users - To copy a picture place your cursor over the picture you want. Then right click and select copy. Then paste into your DTP or word processor package.

[Hornsea Beach ]

A view of Hornsea beach. Notice three examples of coastal protection in the photograph (wooden groynes protecting the sand from longshore drift, the sea wall and the boulders).

[A groyne on Hornsea beach]

A groyne on Hornsea beach. Notice how the level of the sand on the left is higher than the sand on the right. This is because the sand is moving from the north to the south (left to right on this photograph). You can see the angle that the sea approaches the beach in the photograph. The sand on the left is trapped by the groyne. Over on the right the sand has been removed by longshore drift.

[Sea Wall]

The sea wall at Hornsea.

[Caravan Park]
View of the caravan from Hornsea beach. The caravan park is located to the south of Hornsea. Notice the remains of a building within the cliff material.
[Caravan Park]

View of the caravan park. Notice the end of the sea wall to the right of the picture. The cliff material is made up of boulder clay.

[Approaching the gabion]

The approach to the stone gabion.


The gabion at Hornsea

[After the gabion]
[After the gabion]

The view south of the gabion. Notice how the cliff retreats beyond the coastal defences

Slumped cliffs to the south of Hornsea


A close up of the boulderclay cliffs.

Online Activities
[Online activities]: n Activities related to this topic
Coastal Erosion - Match up game
Waves - Match up game
Coastal Deposition - Match up game
Coasts Interactive revision diagram
Coastal Processes - Quiz
Coastal Erosion Landforms - Quiz
[Podcast]: n Audio file for playback on mobile devices and personal computers
[Gallery]: n a collection of geographical photographs
Holderness Coast Gallery


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