Located on the Holderness Coast, Mappleton is an example of the positive and negative impacts of coastal management.
Mappleton lies approximately 3km south of Hornsea on the Holderness Coast, East Yorkshire. The village of around 50 properties has been subject to intense erosion at a rate of two metres per year, resulting in the access road being only 50m from the cliff edge at its closest point. Mappleton is served by the B1242, the main road connecting settlements along the Holderness Coast.
Mappleton lies upon unconsolidated till that is soft and erodes very quickly. This material was deposited by glaciers during the last ice age 18,000 years ago.
The two rock groynes at Mappleton have helped develop wide and steep sandy beaches.
In 1991 almost £2 million was spent on two rock groynes and a rock revetment to protect Mappleton and the B1242 coastal road. Blocks of granite were imported from Norway for the sea defences. The purpose of the two rock groynes was to trap beach material. By retaining a wide, sandy beach between the stone groynes, the sea would not reach the base of the cliffs at Mappleton. Additionally, the cliff between the two groynes is now stabilised through cliff reprofiling and the addition of vegetation cover.
The coastal defences have been effective in reducing erosion between the two groynes. As the result of these coastal management strategies, a substantial beach has been retained between the groynes halting erosion.
However, further south, the rate of erosion has increased significantly. This is because the material carried south is not being replaced (it is trapped within the groynes). Therefore there is no beach to protect the cliffs. As a result, even during a neap tide ( a tide that is 30% less than the average tidal range), the sea reaches the base of the soft cliffs, and erosion occurs.
Explore the impact of coastal management using the 360-degree images below
The annotated image below shows the management strategies that have been introduced at Mappleton and their implications.
In August 2015, a large crack appeared at the top of the cliff to the south of the defences. The video compilation below shows this and coastal defences at Mappleton.
More details of this case study can be found on our A Level sister site www.alevelgeography.com.
Use the images below to explore locations along the Holderness Coast.