Morphological mapping has proved extremely useful in a renowned area of coastal landslipping.
The undercliffs form a coastal strip nearly six miles long, and up to 500 m in width. The antiquity (possibly late Pleistocene in part), and the large scale of much of the landslipping have assisted in the development of a mature, luxuriant vegetation cover, which masks much of the ground detail. However, the main back and side scars have often remained clear from the air, enabling photogrammetry to be used to produce base maps at a scale of 1:2500. Ground details where added to the base maps from fieldwork clearly reveal the patterns of mass movement. Examples of the final geomorphological maps are presented.
Some 19th century interpretations of the mechanisms of landslipping indicate the advantages of observing the features in a fresh, lightly vegetated state. The present programme of morphological mapping has, hopefully, revealed a sufficient quantity of the detail to enable a reassessment of the area in the light of modern theory. Detailed morphological mapping is also presented as a site investigation technique of considerable merit in areas of difficult access and terrain, or in protected areas.
- © The Geological Society, London 1979