‘Holderness coast erosion and the significance of ords’
Department of Geography, University of Lancaster
A sample ord, a low section of beach characteristic of the Holderness coast, is examined as it moved southwards between 1977 and 1983 and its significant role in coast erosion is demonstrated.
The reduction in beach level at the cliff foot by up to 3.9m enabled most HWN tides to reach it, as compared with only some HWS tides along the inter-ord beach, and the volume of till eroded from the cliffs increased by eight times to an annual mean of 72m^3m^-1.
The Holderness tills are shown to be composed of 31 per cent sand and coarser sediment which is the sediment range of the beaches. Where an ord is sited the massive injection of beach sediment goes to form the ord’s most prominent constructional feature, the lower beach ridge which extends southwards from the centre of the ord.
Analysis of 12 months’ observer wave data collected at Withernsea in 1969/70 indicates that a net southward sand movement of l44,000m^3 occurred. Comparison of this rate with beach sediment input rates along the whole coast backed by till cliffs suggests a sediment deficit at the northern end and a surplus towards the southern end.
This conclusion is supported by an overall increase in beach sediment volume southwards from Barmston. Within this longshore sediment transport system, the ords migrate southwards from their point of origin in the Barmston-Skipsea area, without losing their identity until reaching the tip of Spurn Head.