The Geography Department


Dunwich beach and Dingle Marsh breach   29 November 2006


Tide tables from the BBC









The beach bar at Dunwich is an impressive 4-5 metres in height, and is worthy of measurement - a task to be undertaken at low water.


At high tide a new set of photos is required.



Dunwich Beach 2000


Fieldwork in May 2001

Dunwich Beach 2001  taken  Sunday 13 May 2001

Dunwich Beach Fieldwork & Sizewell 21 May 2001

Dunwich Beach Fieldwork & Thorpeness 24 May 2001


Dunwich Heath - the main areas of study in Spring 2002


Fieldwork in May 2002

Dunwich Beach -Wednesday and Thursday

Dunwich - tourism pressures

Dunwich - management practices


Fieldwork in May 2003

Beach photographs from Mon 20 May and Friday 23 May 2003

Photos from Mr Duncan of the tourist pressures


Fieldwork in May 2004 Sunday 16, Tuesday 25,  and Thursday 27 May


Fieldwork in May 2004

Dunwich Forest and Heath November 2004


Dunwich update April and May 2005


Dunwich beach and Dingle Marsh breach 29 Nov 2006

Dunwich beach and Dingle Marsh update 19 May 2007


Dunwich Heath May 19 2007


Movie of the Dunwich breach 21.2MB


With Dunwich village in the background, this shot over the marshes shows saltwater damage to the vegetation.


Even before the breach, Dingle Marshes were liable to inundation.


Open water has always been present on this section of the marshes.

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On the left is a playa of shingle on the reverse side of the beach bar, doubtless caused by the pressure of water at high tide.



Looking back towards Dunwich cliffs (right) into the morning Sun - with Sizewell nuclear power station on the horizon.


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Three views across the marshes.


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Approaching the point where the beach was breached you can see the new lagoon inland of the beach ridge, left, and the extensive area of open water (centre) and the view northwards towards Southwold.

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The ridges of the beach indicate the last sequence of high tides .. at about 2-2.5 metres, left, and then the point at which the beach has been lowered (centre). The right-hand shot is of the same piece of driftwood as seen in the centre shot, and is sitting on a beach 2 metres lower than the crest to the south. At low water the beach here is still unbreached; it would take 4-4.5 metre tides to overtop the shingle bank ... which is presumably exactly what did the damage! The length of the breach is said to be 1.5 km.

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On the landward side of the shingle bank you can see how the beach material was swept inland, building dune-like formations into the marsh and plastered in places by the dead vegetation that must float on the lagoon at high water.

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Looking more like a Scottish river than a draining Suffolk creek, the true breach is discovered a hundred yards north of the beach lowering. At the time of visiting the tide was almost at low water and the marsh was draining back through the gap.

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The two photos on the left show the emptying creek from the landward side; the right hand shot is another looking up the breach towards the marshes. Previous to the breach the sluggish Dunwich River flowed northwards to enter the sea at Walberswick - but now I presume it will take the new easy route into the sea at the breach.

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The comings and goings at the breach has produced a fine set of coastal depositional landforms, quickly and in miniature!

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Three views of the mouth of the new river. The waves indicate the channel is very shallow as it crosses the old beach, and of course they will rework the material as the tide rises - a complicated spot!

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Quite a lively coastal view, with a emerging spit system, breakers crashing over the new shallows, and Southwold in the background.

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