The aim of this chapter is to provide a review of the recent advances and innovations that have added to the understanding of the cliffs in the British Isles. The chapter introduces the key components of coastal cliff systems, what defines and shapes them and how they have been conceptualized in Britain. The review sets the context for academic research into British coastal cliffs and then focuses on the contributions made to monitoring and modelling cliff changes and the processes that drive them. The chapter concludes with a summary of forthcoming avenues of enquiry and opportunities that have the potential to further knowledge of coastal cliff behaviour in the British Isles and beyond.
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Rocky landforms dominate large portions of the world's coast. Cliffs and shore platforms form spectacular landscapes, yet when compared to other landforms they are relatively unstudied with many contemporary controversies dating back to the mid-nineteenth century. The past decade has seen a reinvigoration of research driven by advances in technology that now enable precise measurements of erosion to the micron scale and quantification of wave energy onto and through cliff edifices to be made, as well as being able to directly date rock surfaces. In order to integrate this diverse range of research this volume's regional approach first integrates the latest data with longstanding theory and then analyses this research through the boundary conditions that exist in each area. The volume brings together the research leaders in the field; includes chapters on nearly all the major rock coasts of the world and identifies future research needs.