Substantial defences against the destructive power of the sea were built at Withernsea during the 1870s. Nine extensions have followed.
Rock armour was introduced to prevent outflanking and protect fixed properties lying south-west of the seawall. An increased rate of erosion beyond the most recent extension, added in 2005, has resulted in crenulate embayment.
Evidence of earlier embayment episodes is visible behind the existing line of rock armour.
Part of the Golden Sands holiday park, occupying the lower centre of the map, sits between the coastal road and receding cliff.
Further extension has been proposed (currently as the South Withernsea Coastal Defence Scheme). Replacement of timber groynes and a strengthening of the sea wall were carried out at Withernsea's north end in 2017/2018.
The first significant defence against the sea at Hornsea, built 1870, lasted six years. Even at that time, signs of consequential downdrift erosion were noted.
In 1906 a stronger seawall was constructed, which has been extended five times since.
At the southern end, defences were specially reconfigured in 1977. A cliff-perpendicular limb retains sediment beyond the seawall and a new cliff-parallel extension is meant to address the problem of outflanking.
The arrangement is visible in the aerial picture as a T-shape, purposely separated from the seawall so that beach sediment may accumulate and pass behind the structure.
The village of Mappleton is where the B1242 coastal road runs close to the cliff line.
As early as the eighteenth century there was an awareness of how erosion was advancing on the village. In 1786 the church was measured to be 630 yards (576 metres) from the cliff. By 1990, the distance was 223 metres. The figures produce an average loss of 1.73 metres per year.
To protect both village and road, in 1991 a major defence scheme incorporating a prominent L-shape (that is, cliff-perpendicular and cliff-parallel) rock armour arrangement was constructed at a cost of about £2m.
Prior to the work, the rate of retreat along this section of coast was essentially the same for all points.
The aerial picture indicates that sediment has been retained north of the defence structure to create a beach more able to withstand wave erosion of the cliffs.
South of the structure, the terminal groyne effect has left its crenulate imprint on the coastline.
At Barmston, there are two examples of the terminal groyne effect.
A V-shape distribution of rocks, installed by 1978 at the end of Sands Lane, has afforded some protection to the Barmston Beach holiday park.
Downdrift of the formation, a crenulate bay extends to the next defence structure.
Barmston Main Drain collects water from the land and discharges it through an outfall pipe into the sea.
The picture above was taken from the end of the outfall cover, in existence since the 1970s.
Not visible from the beach, the drain itself is substantially armoured against tidal erosion and ingress by a more recent revetment.
From the early 1990s a privately built and maintained seawall has been a dominant feature at Ulrome beach. A ‘plug’ revetment was later erected to protect a property about 200 metres to the south at Skipsea.
Below, aerial imagery depicts the Ulrome and Skipsea configuration in late 2011 (Bing Maps) and, some eight years earlier, at the end of 2003 (Google Earth historical). The parish boundary runs across the centre of the pictures. Enlargements follow.
Crenulate embayment is clear at both sites. The defences at Ulrome have suffered repeated damage from the waves, especially at the southern end. Further along at Skipsea, the originally aligned revetment is breaking up.
Ulrome and Skipsea defences were demolished and all material removed spring 2015.
Three photogaphs, spanning a period of a little over six years, give an idea of the rate of cliff recession behind the revetment at Skipsea.
Taken on 3rd August 2007 by Helen Wilkinson, the first picture shows the defences positioned at the base of the cliff (the structure protruding from the upper cliff is a sunken container).
The second picture is dated 4th April 2010, and the third is 15th December 2013. Beach level between revetment and cliff is higher than the surrounding sands.
When the North Sea gas terminal at Easington was opened in March 1967 the belief was that the useful life of the installation would be over before coastal erosion became an imminent threat.
Gas reserves proved greater than first expected and a revised duration for the facility meant that protection was necessary. A kilometre long revetment using over 130,000 tons of rock was constructed in 1999.
The design stage of Easington gas terminal defences had to consider two nearby Sites of Special Scientific Interest. To the north lies Dimlington High Land and to the south are the Easington lagoons.
There is no cross-beach component. The boulders lie at the base of an artificially profiled bank-like cliff which is covered by mesh, and vegetated. Beach sediment is able to pass freely along the defenced section.
Both ends of the revetment are rounded into the cliff behind tapered extensions in order to reduce outflanking.
Terminal groyne effect on the scale of other defence structures on the East Yorkshire coast is not manifest at Easington.
Monitoring south of the revetment indicates some increase in the rate of cliff loss but a crenulate bay as would be characteristic of the full TGE process is so far absent.