To predict cliff recession rates, it is necessary to make judgements about the effects of changing environmental conditions and shoreline management practice on the recession process. A simple model is presented that allows judgements to be ordered in a systematic manner. The model can be used to generate single predicted values or a probability distribution of the possible recession rates, as illustrated by an example from the Covehithe cliffs, Suffolk. The output from the probabilistic model can also be used to support risk-based economic evaluation of the benefits of coast protection.

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