East Yorkshire coastal erosion

mudballs


Created by Brian Williams in December 2012.
Supplement to the erosion in pictures page.



more on East Yorkshire coastal erosion

Mudballs are a common feature of the beaches of Holderness. Sometimes they are referred to as ‘armoured’ because of the pebbles and small stones that attach to their surfaces as the tides roll them about.


 mudballs-1.jpg
Most mudballs are formed from lumps of clay that have broken from the cliffs.
[Mappleton: 26 May 2012]


 mudballs-2.jpg
Perhaps a lump may be fairly ball-shaped to begin with.
[East Newton: 10 June 2012]


 mudballs-3b.jpg
Mudball nursery.
[Grimston: 14 July 2014]


 mudballs-3a.jpg
Viewed from the cliff top, an incoming tide laps at fallen pieces.
[Hilston: 6 May 2013]


 mudballs-3.jpg
The picture shows stages of reduction from large lump to typical-sized mudball.
[Out Newton/Dimlington: 12 May 2012]


 mudballs-4.jpg
A ‘swarm’ of mudballs – and a sure indication of high erosion activity.
[Great Cowden: 10 June 2012]


 mudballs-5.jpg
The ‘soft’ appearance of these mudballs suggest that they originated from clay affected by prolonged rainfall (see cliff in background).
[Out Newton/Dimlington: 12 May 2012]


 mudballs-6.jpg
Another source of mudball is a breaking platform, where the beach has been eroded. [Aldbrough: 30 April 2012]


 mudballs-7.jpg
A mud-boulder, partially armoured.
[East Newton: 10 June 2012]


 mudballs-8.jpg
Mudballs aligned parallel to the cliff.
[East Newton: 10 June 2012]


 mudballs-9.jpg
Mudballs aligned according to tidal direction (swash and backwash).
[Aldbrough north: 17 September 2012]


 mudballs-9a.jpg
This swarm curves towards the sea.
[Tunstall: 26 June 2014]


 mudballs-10.jpg
A naturally split mudball confirms that the armour is no more than surface...
[Withernsea south: 3 September 2012]


 mudballs-11.jpg
... also the case for a deliberately halved mudball.
[Aldbrough north: 17 September 2012]


 mudballs-11a.jpg
Ice-scratched small erratic in mudball.
[East Newton: 22 September 2014]


 mudballs-12.jpg
In general, a mudball will last for less than a month before the clay is lost in suspension and washed out to sea, while the pebbly armour is returned as beach sediment.
[Out Newton/Dimlington: 12 May 2012]


Mudballs are found anywhere but not necessarily everywhere. At times of low erosion, lengthy stretches of beach can be remarkably clear of mudballs.
[Left: Atwick: 5 August 2011 enlargement]
[Right: Barmston: 15 September 2011 enlargement]



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