TXT-tool 3.044-1.1: The Runout of Chalk Cliff Collapses—Case Studies and Physical Model Experiments

  • Elisabeth T. Bowman
  • W. Andy Take


Chalk exposures in coastal cliff faces extend from Yorkshire to Devon in England and from Boulonnais to Normandy in France. The failure of chalk cliffs is a long-recognised hazard along parts of these coastlines, however variation in the chalk’s lithology, stratigraphy and physical properties coupled with changing topographic relief, means that the nature of the hazard is variable. This tool is concerned with cliff failures that may lead to chalk flow resulting in catastrophic flow slide or rock avalanche-like behaviour. We discuss the nature of chalk flows and how they relate to other types of flow-like avalanches. Recently published and unpublished work is used to unify simple mechanical index properties between the French and English coastal chalks. Some well-documented studies are then re-examined, using these results to show how runout is controlled by chalk porosity. Finally, a series of physical model tests are described in which some of the controls on runout of the chalk are examined.


Chalk Sturzstrom Landslide Cliff Physical model Case study 



Experimental work for this project was funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK, via a postdoctoral research fellowship award. The authors wish to thank Dr Kevin Stone of the University of Brighton for providing chalk samples for the experiments and would like to express their gratitude to the technicians at the Schofield Centre, University of Cambridge.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Structural EngineeringUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringQueens UniversityKingstonCanada

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