Coastal vulnerability index (CVI)

The coast at Happisburgh, Norfolk.

The mainland of Great Britain is surrounded by over 11 000 miles of coastline. It is a very diverse coastline both in terms of geology and geomorphology, ranging from the high chalk cliffs of Sussex to the flat expanses of The Wash and Morecambe Bay.

The coast has been shaped by the continual forces of erosion from the wind, waves and tide and the characteristics and composition of the coastline will dictate the degree of its vulnerability.

This has been starkly demonstrated by the recent winter storms of 2013–14, which have resulted in widespread damage to infrastructure, such as the main line railway at Dawlish and undermining of properties along the Norfolk coast at Hemsby.

With climate change forecasts of an increase in the frequency and intensity of winter storms, BGS is developing a coastal vulnerability index (CVI), drawing on existing BGS datasets and expertise, and working in collaboration with other organisations to help manage these changes in the future.


Contact Gareth Jenkins for more information.