Is Happisburgh falling into the sea?
The rate at which Happisburgh is being lost to the sea is increasing, but the village is not just being attacked by the waves – surface water running off the land is also causing the cliffs to crumble. The village in North Norfolk, has long been facing the threat of coastal erosion and climate change.
What has happened to Happisburgh in Norfolk?
Although now a coastal village, Happisburgh was once some distance from the sea, parted from the coast by the parish of Whimpwell, long since eroded away. Historic records indicate that over 250 m of land were lost between 1600 and 1850.
What is causing coastal erosion in Happisburgh?
There are several reasons why the coast at Happisburgh is eroding so rapidly: Rock type – the cliffs are made from less resistant boulder clay (made from sands and clays) which slumps when wet. This narrows unprotected beaches elsewhere even further, as new sand does not come down to replace sand eroded by waves.
How long has Happisburgh got left?
Erosion in Happisburgh is a long-term problem The North Sea has been eating away at Happisburgh’s cliffs for 5,000 years.
How does Happisburgh affect the rate of erosion?
Coastal defences built at Happisburgh have slowed down the rate of retreat. However, large sections are now in disrepair. Sea-level rise and climate change, including increased storminess, may also increase the rate of erosion.
Why are houses falling into the sea in Happisburgh?
The coastal part of the village is subject to frequent coastal erosion: houses that used to be over 20 feet (6 m) from the sea now sit at the edge of a cliff and are expected to fall into the sea.
How was Happisburgh affected by the 1953 flood?
More recently the village was affected by the tragic floods of 1953 that claimed the lives of 76 Norfolk residents. Figure 2 gives an example of the rapid coastal erosion at Happisburgh. Coastal defences built at Happisburgh have slowed down the rate of retreat.
What causes erosion on Happisburgh cliff in Norfolk?
In winter, erosion caused by groundwater as seen in the gullying of the cliff face, coupled with increased seasonal storminess, causes small-scale, frequent, shallow landsliding in the Happisburgh Sand Member. The Happisburgh Sand Member is easily eroded and undercutting of the cliff toe reduces slope stability and cliff failure occurs.