The erosion of coastal cliffs is inevitable. The cliff collapses are a hazard, a problem for coastal land use planners and limit the use of the coastline as an amenity.
project will research techniques that will identify cliffs that are approaching a state of imminent collapse and allow accurate predictions to be made of the timing of the collapse. One technique will attempt to remotely measure changes in tension within the fracture network near a cliff face, whilst others will monitor acoustic crack emissions generated during fracturing. If successful, the results will provide both long term and short term alerts of cliff instability.
The techniques will be developed at cliff research sites where control data on the physical properties of the cliffs are available. Outputs will be the monitoring techniques, recommendations for their implementation by coastal managers and increased understanding of cliff collapse parameters.