Rates of Cliff Recession

  • Eric BirdEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Earth Sciences book series (BRIEFSEARTH)


Cliffs recede as the result of basal erosion, slumping, landslides and rock falls, and the removal of collapsed debris from the cliff base. Cliff recession occurs particularly during storms, when large waves attack the cliffs, or during events such as heavy and prolonged rainfall, the melting of snow or frozen ground, or earthquakes. The rate of cliff retreat depends on the frequency and severity of these events, but is also influenced by the resistance and structure of the outcropping formations, tide range and the presence of a rocky shore or shore platform that affords protection to the cliff base. Cliff recession is generally cyclic, with intermittent landslides or rock falls followed by the removal of slumped or downwashed aprons of rock debris or sediment.


Fall Rock Coastal Slope Wave Attack Marine Erosion Glacial Drift 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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