Rocky Coast Working Group


Cover Photo from the recent WG publication Rock Coast Geomorphology: A global perspective published by the Geological Society. The shore platforms and cliffs of the Vale of Glamorgan, U.K.. The scene is taken from Witches Point, Dunraven, looking south to Monknash Point and Nash Point in the distance. (Courtesy of Prof Alan Trenhaile)

WG Chair:

Prof. David M. Kennedy
Melbourne (Australia)


Introduction to WG activity

The rocky coast working group of the IAG/AIG was established in 2005 to further geomorphic enquiry into a relatively unstudied landform system, the rocky coast. The working group was extended in 2009 (Melbourne) and 2013 (Paris). The working group currently has around 80 members in 20 countries and is continuing an active academic and policy discussion on the evolution and dynamics of rock coasts. It has seen the development of a process-approach to rocky coasts and application of new radioisotope methodologies (e.g. cosmogenic dating) to the study of cliffs and shore platforms.


Preparations are under way for the International Coastal Symposium to be held in Sydney in early 2016.

Activities 2015

The working group has been active in organizing and participating in rocky coast sessions at many major international conferences.

Activity is also focused on a Special Issue of Earth Surface Processes and Landforms with many articles already in print. The online virtual issue will soon be available.

Past Success

The working group has successfully produced special issues of Marine Geology and Geomorphology and has sponsored many special sessions at international conferences from the European Geophysical Union to the IAG/AIG regional and general congresses.



The most recent publication from the working group is

Rock Coast Geomorphology: A global perspective’ published by the Geological Society.

This volume provides a regionally-based analysis of the world’s rock coast landforms. Each chapter is written by the leaders in the field and integrates the latest data with established theories. Identification of boundary conditions allows for results to be extrapolated beyond the region and sets the scene for future research.