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Walton-on-the-Naze

 

14 June 2009

 

 

 

Walton-on-the-Naze index

 

The new wind farm offshore of Clacton, complete with stumps ready to be filled by new turbines!

 

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Towards Walton town, looking south over Jubilee Beach towards the pier.

 

Looking north towards the tower.

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Erosion at the Tower Breakwater has been heavy and, after an evening visit, a proper visit was required.

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The growth of the free face has been rapid, as material has been removed from the beach and the fallen blocks have slipped downslope. These blocks are now even more pronounced and the fault lines exposed.

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'Basin and Range' country at Walton; block-faulting in miniature and on the move! Just to the south the cliffs have collapsed less coherently, in a mass of cobble-sized lumps down to dust.

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The relationship between the cliff face and the cafe - and tower - will, unfortunately, be the most notable point of these photographs in years to come. The free face is of such a height that significant falls are most likely this year.

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The splash of green indicated the presence of surface water, trapped by the mobile flows, but also of stability. However, the vegetation is now on its way beachwards en mass!

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To the north of the tower embayment, rotational slips mark 5% of the cliff top.

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Cliff-top blocks gliding down over the shear-plane discovered on my last visit.

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More cliff-top failures and, on the right, a large slip developing from a ground break in the right foreground of the photo. Note the clay-based wave-cut platform in the backdrop.

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Coastal retreat is still in evidence towards the northern end of the Naze with, centre and below, the old sea wall being chewed up from its flanks.

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The sea wall and lagoon, left and above, is the site of some sand migration from the disappearing beach (reseeded a few years ago) that quickly gives way to the clay basement, centre. On the right is drying clay, crumbling in the sun.

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Crumbling cliffs, left and right, where the toe of the slide is being removed by wave action. Centre, an isolated hillock of clay, a foot high, resists the waves in front of the clay, and very slippery, wave-cut platform!

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New to me on this trip is a recently fallen concrete gun mount, now on the edge of the beach with its overburden still intact. Still Pushing the concrete is a slide of quite mobile crag.

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Beneath the Naze Tower is a jumble of sliding blocks, with rotational slides and even block glide in evidence. The blocks, being crag and even clay, soon disintegrate of course. Much of the slope, therefore, is chaotic.

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A recent mobile flow, of modest stature, stains the beach.

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the lower areas of the slips display plenty of mobile flows, with some pouring across the beach.

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The photo on the left is outflanking the defended coast, and is only 5-10 metres from the concrete access steps; here the free-face is high. Centre, and right, blocks of fallen crag squeezed by block faulting beneath a growing free face.

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The amount of surface moisture must add greatly to the weight of the slope and is a powerful factor in promoting slippage.

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The cross-profile of the end of the protected coast, with the Naze breakwater on the right and warning sign on the cliff overlook (halfway up) in the centre left. The slopes are vegetated and drained, but are being reduced from the north as the sea outflanks the defences at the breakwater.

 

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A get-together of lifeboats, from Harwich and Walton, and their respective inshore craft.

 

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Walton-on-the-Naze  Breakwater Tower coasts cliffs erosion beaches groynes clay sand defences mobile slides rotational slumps  rescue Sea King Helicopter RNLI  wind farms offshore wave cut platform concrete blocks

 

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