The rocky coast of South Devon and its ‘disappearing’ village

Derek Mottershead

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The rocky coast of South Devon epitomises the coastal landscapes of the western extremities of the unglaciated lands of southwest Britain and northwest Europe. Both have a commonality of Variscan foundations, and a shared history of tectonic and climatic change throughout the Quaternary period. The Start-Prawle coastal landscape of South Devon exhibits the impact of periglacial conditions on coastal slopes, and multiple shorelines as key features of sea level change. Under contemporary conditions, the local greenschist responds to the coastal weathering environment by exhibiting rapid rates of rock decay and associated landforms at different scales, as demonstrated both by natural exposures and by local greenschist stone utilised in coastal constructions. As an example of the human influence on a landscape, the impact of nearshore dredging on a coastal settlement shows how lack of adequate prior understanding of local coastal processes may unwittingly lead to irreparable damage of a community.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLandscapes and Landforms of England and Wales
EditorsAndrew Goudie, Piotr Migoń
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-38957-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-38956-7
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2020

Publication series

NameWorld Geomorphological Landscapes
ISSN (Print)2213-2090
ISSN (Electronic)2213-2104


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