Cliff Hazards

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


Coastal cliffs are dangerous because of their height and steepness, and because of rock falls or landslides. People have been killed or injured in cliff accidents. Some accidents occur when people standing or walking along the crest of a cliff fall over the edge; others when people fall when trying to climb up or down a cliff; others when people fall, or are carried down, from the top of a cliff when it subsides or collapses; and others when people are hit by falling rocks, or buried by landslides at the base of a cliff. The first two categories are due to the height and steepness of the cliff, and occur without any geomorphological change taking place; the second two are the outcome of sudden geomorphological changes. Unfortunately there are also deaths and injuries resulting from suicide or attempted suicide by leaping from a cliff, notably from high cliffs within easy reach of large urban centres, as at Beachy Head in Sussex (where there were 26 fatalities in 1990, all recorded as suicides) and The Gap on the Sydney cliffs north of Bondi Beach.


Legal Liability Coastal Cliff Cliff Face Geomorphological Change Cliff Edge 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Bird ECF (1987) Geology and landforms of Beach Park, Sandringham. Sandringham Environmental Series, 2, 4th ednGoogle Scholar
  2. Bird ECF (1990) Cliff instability on the Victorian coast. Victorian Naturalist 107:86–96Google Scholar
  3. Bird ECF (1994) Cliff hazards and coastal management. J Coast Res 12:299–309Google Scholar
  4. Bird ECF, Cullen PW, Rosengren NJ (1973) Conservation problems at Black Rock point. Victorian Nat 90:240–247Google Scholar
  5. Emery KO, Kuhn GG (1982) Sea cliffs: their processes, profiles and classification. Bull, Geol Soc Am 93:554–644CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Williams MJ, Williams AT (1988) The perception of, and adjustment to, rockfall hazards along the Glamorgan Heritage Coast, Wales. Ocean and Shoreline Manag 11:319–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Williams AT, Williams MJ (1991) The perceived effectiveness of coastal warning signs. Coastal Zone 91Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations