Chalk physical properties and cliff instability
Published:January 01, 2004
Physical properties such as porosity and intact dry density (IDD) are compared with strength testing in relation to the Chalk formations in the cliffs of the English Channel. Natural moisture contents are close to saturation moisture contents for chalks with intact dry densities above 1.70 Mg/m3. Below this IDD, the natural moisture contents show a much greater range and greater divergence from the saturation line. There is also an indication that certain types of chalk retain water at saturation level while others gain and lose water more readily. Strength tests (Point Load Index, Brazilian Crushing Strength and Uniaxial Compressive Strengths) show up to four times reductions in strength between dry (higher strength) and saturated (lower strength) samples. Absence of a strong correlation between density and strength is interpreted as resulting from either mineralogical differences in the samples and/or textural differences between different chalks. The variation in physical properties and strength in the different chalks forming the cliffs indicates the strong stratigraphical and sedimentological controls on mechanical performance of the material and mass in cliff failures.
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Coastal Chalk Cliff Instability
Most of the rocky coastlines around the world are subject to active erosion processes. Because of the growing hazard to local communities from coastal cliff retreat, it is necessary to investigate where, when and how cliffs collapse. The results of these studies are vital for the planners and local authorities responsible for safety and access to cliffs and beaches. This volume focuses on the coastal chalk cliffs of the English Channel, where a multidisciplinary approach has been used to understand active coastal cliff recession.
The book is organized around three main themes: the geological factors controlling cliff instability, the marine parameters influencing coastal erosion and the use of some new tools for hazard assessments.
This volume will be of use to academics and professionals working on rocky shores, with an interest in sedimentary geology, stratigraphy, tectonics, geomorphology, engineering geology, coastal engineering and GIS.