Hornsea Case Study
Location of Hornsea
Hornsea is a small coastal town on the Holderness Coast, located between Bridlington and Withernsea. A 2.9km stretch of shoreline fronts the town of Hornsea. Hornsea consists of 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.
Geology of Hornsea
Hornsea lies upon boulder clay. This material is unconsolidated till was deposited by glaciers during the last ice age 18,000 years ago. The boulder clay consists of about 72% mud, 27% sand and 1% boulders and large pebbles.
Coastal Features at Hornsea
The groynes on Hornsea beach ensure wide and relatively steep beaches. The beach material is made up of sand and shingle. The exposed boulder clay cliffs to the north give way to sea wall along the front of the town. To the south of the town the boulder clay cliffs are once again exposed.
AQA GCSE Geography Hornsea Fieldwork Booklet
Coastal Erosion at Hornsea
Coastal erosion at Hornsea has been limited by a range of management techniques. The map below shows a range of management strategies and the impact these are having further along the coast.
Coastal Management at Hornsea
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 image below shows groynes to the south of Hornsea.
Coastal management at Hornsea
The videos below show the importance of the sea wall at Hornsea, particularly during a spring tide combined with strong winds!
More recently a stone and steel gabion and a concrete reventment have been erected to the south of Hornsea. This helps protect the caravan park.
The image below shows coastal defences to the south of Hornsea. These include groynes, extending at right angles out in to the sea, rock armour can also be seen seen at the top of the beach.
Where the defences end rates of erosion have rapidly increased. As beaches are starved of material, as it is trapped behind groynes, the unprotected soft boulder clay is rapidly eroding. This is because there is little beach material so even neap tides reach the base of the cliffs.
The image below shows the impact of the terminal groyne.
Take a look at the Hornsea gallery and video collection.