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Estimating postglacial coastal sediment budgets is difficult as erosion has removed the landscape drowned by marine transgression and coastal positions through time are rarely known. In the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)–funded Land Ocean Interaction Study, a model was built, based on detailed characterization of onshore-offshore bathymetric profiles (created by Holocene wave-base migration). Modeling of the pre-Holocene western North Sea land surface (west of 1°E and south of 54°N) and sea-level curves allow determination of the likely position of wave base and coast at any time during the late Holocene. The volumes of materials eroded from cliffs, wave action on the shoreface, and tidal scour associated with erosion of pits (e.g., Inner Silver Pit) from different coastal areas have been estimated. The average annual contribution of sediment per meter length of coast is higher than some recent erosion rates would suggest, but appears consistent with the volumetric difference between the modeled end-Pleistocene surface and the present topographic-bathymetric surface. With other models, outputs would suggest that less than 5% of the Humber Holocene is likely to be of fluvial origin—a percentage corroborated by detailed geochemical and mineralogical provenance studies of the estuarine fill. The model suggests that more sediment has been released from the shoreface than from cliffs per unit length of coastline throughout the Holocene; this is an important finding for coastal managers, as this pattern is likely to continue and because the shore-face cannot be effectively protected from erosion.

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