Coastal cliff recession: the use of probabilistic prediction methods


A range of probabilistic methods is introduced for predicting coastal cliff recession, which provide a means of demonstrating the potential variability in such predictions. They form the basis for risk-based land-use planning, cliff management and engineering decision-making. Examples of probabilistic models are presented for a number of different cliff settings: the simulation of recession on eroding cliffs; the use of historical records and statistical experiments to model the behaviour of cliffs affected by rare, episodic landslide events; the adaptation of an event tree approach to assess the probability of failure of protected cliffs, taking into account the residual life of the existing defences; and the evaluation of the probability of landslide reactivation in areas of pre-existing landslide systems. These methods are based on a geomorphological assessment of the episodic nature of the recession process, together with historical records.

Jim Hall
Jim Hall
Professor of Climate and Environmental Risk

Prof. Jim Hall FREng is Professor of Climate and Environmental Risks in the University of Oxford and Director of Research in the School of Geography and the Environment.