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Natasha Wallum (2018)

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Title: Modelling the effects of climate change and sea-level rise on complex soft cliff coastlines.

Abstract: The relevance of UK Shoreline Management Plans for complex soft cliffs is currently limited by the present inability of the probabilistic model to provide mesoscale (10-100 year) forecasts of coastal retreat using the latest national climate change and sea-level rise projections (UKCP09). A statistical, process-response model using accumulated excess energy (AEE; the time-integrated total wave energy above an erosion threshold) has been employed to demonstrate a potential complementary modelling approach, which can be readily implemented using the latest national climate change information. Previously applied exclusively to simple cliff systems, the AEE model has been shown to account for 68% of the variance in observed rates of cliff top retreat for a complex soft cliff on the Dorset Coast, UK. Forecasts of future (next ∼100 year) cliff recession at the site using the AEE model under various sea-level rise and wave height scenarios from UKCP09 projections suggest changes in retreat rate between -13% and +232% by 2100, dependent upon emissions scenario. To facilitate interpretation of the potential implications of cliff retreat under a projected changing climate, coastal erosion hazard maps were developed from model outputs for coastal management and land-use planning.

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