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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number EP/L025191/1
Title Waves Across Shore Platforms
Status Completed
Energy Categories Renewable Energy Sources(Ocean Energy) 10%;
Not Energy Related 90%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Professor G Masselink
No email address given
Sch of Engineering
University of Plymouth
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 September 2014
End Date 28 February 2017
Duration 30 months
Total Grant Value £264,223
Industrial Sectors Construction; Environment
Region South West
Programme NC : Engineering
Investigators Principal Investigator Professor G Masselink , Sch of Engineering, University of Plymouth (100.000%)
Web Site
Abstract Rocky coastlines are generally characterised by cliffs fronted by intertidal shore platforms and occur along 20% of the coastline of England and Wales. These shore platforms tend to be gently-sloping and they invariably represent hydrodynamically very rough surfaces. Cliffs and shore platforms are linked dynamically because the platform characteristics directly control the transformation processes of waves propagating across it, and thus the impact on the cliff and cliff erosion. For rocky shores this transformation process is virtually unstudied. The general aim of this project is to increase both understanding and modelling capability of wave transformation processes across rocky shore platforms. The research will not only benefit the coastal engineering community and contribute to better coastal management and planning, but will also benefit other coastal scientists, including geologists, geomorphologists and ecologists.Our overarching hypothesis is that the transformation of the wave spectrum across shore platforms is primarily controlled by the elevation, gradient and width of the platform, and the roughness of its surface. We consider that it is feasible to model this wave transformation process, and thus energy delivery to the base of the cliff, using existing numerical wave models after appropriate parameterisation of the bed friction of the platform surface. We further propose that the bed friction of the platform surface can be parameterised based on the characteristics of the shore platform, namely its gradient and roughness (micro-topography).Our intention is to conduct comprehensive and detailed field measurements of wave transformation across 6 different shore platforms under a range of wave/tide conditions and derive universally valid principles from our observations that better describe and enable the prediction of wave transformation processes across rocky shore platforms. Each of these 8-day experiments will involve deployment of a range of instruments, including pressure sensors to measure waves and water levels, acoustic current meters to record nearshore currents, digital video cameras for monitoring wave breaker patterns and wave runup, a laser scanner for measuring swash dynamics and a terrestrial LiDAR system for making high-resolution measurements of the shore platform topography.The field data will be used to quantify wave energy dissipation by bed friction and wave breaking, and the dissipation rates will be used to back-calculate wave friction factors using linear wave theory. In turn, the obtained wave friction factors will be correlated to the roughness of the shore platform surface related to the overall morphology and micro-topography. The improved wave friction parameterisation will be implemented in the open-source XBeach numerical model and the model will be used for each of the 6 sites to evaluate the effect of changing sea level to the wave energy delivery to the cliff base to explore the potential effectof rising sea level on coastal cliff recession. This project involves a multi-disciplinary research team from the Universities of Plymouth, Bangor and Auckland, and Deltares (Netherlands). The project will benefit from the complementary expertise of two oceanographers, two coastal engineers, two physical geographers and one geologist, all with proven track records in research areas that have a direct bearing on the current project: field experimentation, nearshore and surf zone dynamics, rocky coast processes and numerical modelling. The hosting institution also has an experimental infrastructure for studying shallow water oceanographic processes for fieldwork that is second to none in the UK, and is ideally suited to support the proposed research project. The combined strength in research infrastructure and researchers, as well as the relevance of the research topic, makes this a low-risk high-impact project

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