18. Since the CCMA only uses data since 1998, does it suggest that erosion has increased since the 1994 flood scheme?
We know that the erosion rate varies over time with periods of fast and slow erosion rates. One of these periods coincides after the implementation of the 1994 scheme, however it does not necessarily mean the erosion rate has increased due to the effects of the 1994 scheme, however it is it would unreasonable to say it has had no effect, although its effect would be hard to quantify. It is likely one of the many contributory effects leading to a periodic increased rate of erosion including climate change, sea level rise, stormier weather, wetter winters, terminal erosion from the existing sea wall as well as geological variation within the rocks. We also know the Victorian rail tunnel dug through the cliffs has also largely collapsed, which would have increased erosion rates during this period.
The periodic increase in erosion post 1998 may have also led to the algorithm used in the CCMA study to predict an increased and sustained erosion rate, as it only has used data since 1998, not taking account of any other periodic increase and decrease of erosion rates prior to that.