Experts call public be hypervigilant on south coast beaches as this week’s heatwave could trigger the rock collapses.
One geologist said area seemed the most vulnerable and beach lovers should listen of official management.
collapse of sidmouth rock in Devonian on Monday was second large landslide along the Jurassic coast in two weeks.
Dorset Council has warning in place urging vacationers to take extra precautions, The East Devon Rural Police reported public not walk on beach east of Sidmouth, because unstable rocks can suddenly fall.
Dr. Vanessa Banks, Geological Engineer with The British Geological Survey (BGS) said: “I walk along the beach as a geologist, and I am genuinely shocked that people sometimes do not appreciate the ledges above them. It’s because I have training and others people look at the rocks for them beauty.
But the advice went out of them way try to communicate with in public and that would be good to see public attraction with these notices and reflecting on them.”
BGS should issue social media messages asking people be careful as the temperature continues climb This week.
” difficulty we cannot say exactly where these incidents will occur, so it is important that people take care of yourself,” Banks said. “They can’t tell themselves because the cracks that form in the top of the cliff is not visible to the beach visitor.”
there was a “limited research’ in the thermal impact of the landslide, but there was some evidence pointing to a connection. AT more clay-like components of sediments shrink due to moisture loss during these hot and dry periods, while other rocks expand. in in heatBanks said.
The south coast seemed more vulnerable, “which may be partly because of weak rocks and coating of surface deposits are not as thick.”
“This week in Sidmouth we had a formation called the Sidmouth Mudstone Formation, a fairly fine grained soil or weak rock overlaying the sandstone. again very weak,” she said.
The fall of the rock was caused by processes from above of Cliff. “This implies material above, this Sidmouth argillite formation has been weathered and its erosion made possible, perhaps as a consequence. of some slight movement, maybe because of turn in moisture content,” she is added.
If a current The heat wave was followed by intense torrential rains that could also weaken rocks, with potential for further rockfalls, she said.
BGS is studying the impact of hot, dry weather on landslides in context of climate change, she said. Most research focused on heavy rains and floods, which had a greater impact in terms of life and infrastructure.
Dorset Council said: “In extreme temperatures risk of Rockfalls along Dorset’s World Heritage-listed coastline are even larger than usual. Heat causes rocks to expand and, especially during temperature fluctuations, any pre-existing cracks may expand and new cracks can also the form. It makes rocks potentially more instability and rockfalls more likely to happen.”
Dorset Counsel Ray Bryan, portfolio holder for highways, travel and environment said: “Rockfalls are completely unpredictable and can happen at any time, but we know what conditions make them more prolonged hot and dry periods are also likely. one of them.”
Anyone visiting the Dorset coast during a heat wave should stay away from the base of rocks, and if you walk along the coast, then the paths stay away from the edges, he said. “Never ignore warning sign – They are there for your safety”.
The coastline of Dorset has a number of areas with increased potential for rockfalls, especially on cliffs around Seatown, Ape, Burton Bradstock, West Cliff, East Cliff, Mupe Bay, Lulworth and Swanage, the council said.