Spurn Head is an outstanding example of a dynamic coastal system, very unusual if not unique that it extends across the mouth of a macro-tidal estuary, and for which there exists an exceptionally long historical record extending back to the 7th century AD.
Natural England requested that Dr Mark Lee and Professor John Pethick undertake an assessment of the geomorphological development of Spurn, in order to understand how the system is likely to evolve and how far that evolution might be. Thus appreciating how the spit could move in response to wash over events and the continuing erosion of the Holderness Coast.
The assessment has been a desk-based study and involved a critical review of the available literature, rather than “new” research or site-based investigations.
Part of this review is an exceptional chronology of historic maps, charts and diagrams displaying the evolution of Spurn from c1508 to the present day. The geological and geomorphological aspects of the system are considered before an appreciation of the past and future evolution is discussed.
A conceptual model is presented which challenges the long-standing views on the geomorphological evolution of Spurn.