Information about coastal change, including rates of coastal erosion.
Coastal change is defined as a physical change to the shoreline through any of the following methods:
As the East Riding coastline contains 48 kilometres of soft glacial till (clay, pebbles and sand), it is particularly vulnerable to coastal erosion.
Our coastal erosion monitoring programme includes aerial surveys of the whole East Riding coastline each spring and autumn, which allow us to identify the average rate of erosion. In areas where properties or other structures are at greatest risk from erosion, we also undertake more frequent ‘on the ground’ GPS monitoring, to ensure the safety of residents.
It is expected that rising sea levels will lead to higher rates of coastal erosion, and a higher risk of coastal flooding, along some undefended stretches of the East Riding coast. As detailed in the Shoreline Management Plan, we will respond to these conditions by working with, rather than against, natural processes.
In the East Riding, sea level rise is caused by a number of factors, including the very gradual sinking of the land as a result of the last ice age. This process is called isostatic change and results in local sea level rise of around 3mm per year. The rate of local sea level rise may increase to around 8mm per year when we take into account global sea level rise driven by climate change. The key factors in global sea level rise are thermal expansion caused by the warming of the oceans, and the loss of land-based ice due to increased melting.
The Government's projections on sea level rise can be found on the following website:
Defra - UK Climate Projections (external website)
Although harder to predict, it is expected that increased storminess as a result of climate change will also lead to an increase in rates of erosion, and a higher risk of coastal flooding in undefended areas.
To estimate the risk of coastal erosion or coastal flooding to your property or land, please visit the following websites:
Coastal Explorer – erosion data (external East Riding website)
Environment Agency – erosion risk maps (external website)
Environment Agency – flood risk maps (external website)
We use our erosion monitoring data and projections in the Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) to estimate the level of erosion risk to each property. We take into account three local factors: the distance between the property and the cliff edge, the recent average erosion rate, and the maximum cliff loss ever recorded since surveys began in the 1950s.
Homes at risk will fall into one of three categories, as explained below:
Certain properties and assets will also be at risk beyond 2055 because coastal erosion is an ongoing, natural process.
If you require further assistance, please call (01482) 395604 to speak to the senior coastal engineer.
For more detailed information about our monitoring programme and for historical beach and cliff data, please visit our Coastal Explorer website:
Coastal Explorer (external website)
For a broader overview of coastal change management, please visit the following Government websites:
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (external website)
Environment Agency (external website)
Marine Management Organisation (external website)