Claire Earlie

Claire undertaking her research.

Coastal cliff erosion in Cornwall

Plymouth University

A Plymouth University PhD student is enabling the National Trust to better understand and quantify cliff erosion rates along the Cornish coast.

Using a range of techniques, PhD researcher Claire Earlie is hoping to determine how cliff recession varies along the coast at different time and spatial scales.

Working closely with the National Trust, Claire is investigating the cliff recession at two particularly vulnerable sites at Godrevy and Porthleven.

Bill Makin, Head Ranger for Mid Cornwall, National Trust, said: “At Godrevy the access road and car parking areas are under threat. In order to plan successfully for the changes that will be needed to keep the headland open and accessible it is vital that we have accurate and authoritative information about the nature and rates of erosion that can be expected in the coming years.

"This project is providing the information we need to choose the most appropriate way forward.”

To help her understand in greater detail when and how coastal cliffs erode Claire is using in-situ monitoring using terrestrial laser scanning, alongside analysis of hydrodynamic and geotechnical measurements.