Rising seas: Even rocky coasts are under threat


Not only are the beaches at risk of erosion due to rising sea levels , but also the cliffs and rocky coasts . The rise of the oceans will cause an important retreat even in the territories that appear, in an apparent way, to be more protected by the sea.


A study by Imperial College London , coordinated by Jennifer Shadrick and published in the journal Nature Communications , shows that the rate of cliff erosion could become up to 10 times faster than today by 2100.

The risks of beach erosion have been underlined for years by scientists and the damage in some regions of the world, including Italy, is clearly visible. The risks for the rocky coasts , considered by their nature much more resistant than the beaches, had been considered very few. The study conducted by British researchers is one of the very first to address this problem, taking British areas into analysis in particular .

Scientists have determined that their erosion rate could speed up from 3 to 7 times, even up to 10 times faster than that recorded in the last millennia. By 2100 in some areas such as Devon and Yorkshire the cliffs could recede by up to 15 meters.


Sea level rise is accelerating and our results confirm that the retreat of rocky coast will accelerate in line with this. It’s not a question of if, but when.


Jennifer Shadrick, research coordinator

  • Rising sea levels also threaten rocky coasts (


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