By Eric Bird
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Additional info for Coastal Cliffs: Morphology and Management
The upper layers of the Gault clay then become a soft wet slurry that flows out at the base of the cliff and hastens the undermining of the Chalk and Upper Greensand. 15). 6 Effects of Saturation Groundwater accumulation in permeable rock formations can contribute to instability. When they become saturated the additional loading increases shear stress, which explains why many coastal landslides are most active during wet periods. Groundwater loading of porous coastal Head formations (unconsolidated earthy rubble formed by past periglaciation) has led to cliff collapses at Downderry and Gunwalloe on the south coast of Cornwall.
Rocky coasts around the Baltic Sea are weathered by freezing sea spray. 9 Cliff recession at Black Rock Point, Victoria, Australia. 10 Cliff-top drain inserted to intercept runoff at Black Rock Point, Victoria, Australia. 5 Effects of Groundwater Seepage Apart from runoff, the water produced by rainfall or melting snow percolates as groundwater into rock that is permeable because of cavities, fractures or interstitial spaces (Fig. 14). Water soaks into fine-grained limestone or Chalk. On cliffs cut in glacial drift near Port Angeles, Washington State, it was observed that seepage increased when cliff-top lawns and gardens were watered.
Some coastal rock outcrops have been modified by weathering and induration: in the humid tropics laterisation can result in the formation of a hardened caprock above a weakened pallid zone: iron oxides leached from the pallid zone have been carried upward in groundwater (explain) and deposited in the overlying caprock. 27). In Australia Pleistocene dune calcarenite is found where calcareous sand dunes have become lithified by precipitation of calcium carbonate from percolating groundwater. Cliffs cut in this formation show further induration as the calcareous sand formation hardens on exposure to the atmosphere as the result of precipitation of carbonates from seeping groundwater, sea swash or spray.