Coastal erosion on Högklint, Gotland: Processes, rate, and future implications

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för geovetenskaper

Abstract: The coastline along Högklint and Gråberget, Gotland, Sweden, was examined in order to establish therate of cliff erosion, erosion patterns, as well as some of the driving factors of the erosional processes in the area. Picture comparisons of the coastline reveal some major geomorphological changes in the area over the last 100 years, and the coast is still changing. At present, gardens are slowly disappearing over the cliff edge, and during storms Buske fishing place is threatened to be destroyed.Cliff retreat values could be obtained on two locations with the help of a Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) system. Scans were made with the LiDAR in January and May 2013. The scans were latercompared in CloudCompare and a mean erosion rate of 0.159 m/a was obtained for the Högklint siteand 0.123 m/a for the Gråberget site. The cliffs were also studied with a Schmidt hammer that clearly showed how that the cliff face was more eroded below the visible groundwater table than above it. With Gemini Tinytag data loggers temperatures were measured from October 2012 to May 2013 at the surface of the cliff face and inside the cliff at a depth of 4.5 cm and 9.5 cm. It could be concluded that tempera- tures were within the frost-cracking window (-10 to -3 ºC) for 19.7 Julian days, not consecutive. Due to the visibly high water content in the cliff and temperatures within the frost-cracking window, ice segre- gation within the cliff is a possible eroding factor in the area.The cliffs are subjected to erosion caused by ground-, melt-, and rainwater in a significant degree, possibly even more so than by the impact of breaking waves. It is important that the municipality ofGotland takes action to prevent further damage on personal property and to prevent personal injury. Todo this further studies needs to be done on how future climate change will effect the coast and rate oferosion.

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