key sites

cliff processes

Villians of Hamnavoe

We tend to think of hard rock coasts as very slow to change. On Shetland there are numerous records of collapse of arches and stacks and local knowledge of significant changes on cliffs. The presence of fresh scars also indicates falls that have taken place in the last century.

The fall at South Head occurred after the major storms of the early nineties, at some time between summer 1996 and 1999. It is likely that that cliff face was undercut in these storms and gave way later. The volume of debris was considerable but it had all been removed from the ramp within 4 years.

South Head rock fall

Significance: a rare recording of a major cliff fall for which the evidence was removed by the sea within a few years