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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Environmental Geosciences (DEG)



Geological Causes of Local Variation in Coastal Bluff Recession Rates, Northeast Ohio Shoreline of Lake Erie

Scott A. Dawson1 and James E. Evans2

1Department of Geology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403
2Department of Geology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403

Scott A. Dawson is from Pickerington, Ohio, and completed both his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Geology at Bowling Green State University. Through an internship at the Ohio Geological Survey, he developed a study of coastal bluff erosion as part of his Master’s Thesis project under the direction of his co-author. Scott presently works as a hydrogeologist with Harding Environmental Science and Engineering in Chicago.

James E. Evans is a geology professor at Bowling Green State University, with research interests in sedimentology, stratigraphy, surface water hydrology, and sediment transport. In addition to coastal erosion, he has been working recently on removal of dams, Pennsylvanian loessites in the Paradox Basin of southwestern Colorado, and Eocene tufas and travertines in the White River Group, Badlands of South Dakota.


The Lake Erie shoreline at Painesville-on-the-Lake has receded ~180 m since 1876, yet during the past decade rates have varied locally by 0–5 m/yr. The study area is a portion (0.5 km in length) of a continuous section of coastal bluffs ~17 m tall. The section was selected to minimize variation in physical parameters, including shoreline orientation and exposure, offshore bathymetry and sediment, beach width, minimal shoreline protection structures, and generally "homogeneous" bluff materials. In spite of these similarities, some portions of the bluff recede episodically by block-fall and other portions continuously by slumping.

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