Monitoring of the Minsmere Coast for BLUEcoast

Researchers from the University of Liverpool, Plymouth University, British Geological Survey and Marlan Maritime Technologies Ltd. are undertaking a programme of monitoring to investigate the storm response and recovery behaviour of the Minsmere coastline as part of the NERC-funded BLUEcoast project.  This involves the installation of instruments on the beach to measure the velocity, energy and run-up of waves, and detailed beach surveying to determine the loss and recovery of sediment between tides. The monitoring also includes the novel application of marine radar to measuring wave height and direction and changes to the shoreline that can be inferred from where the waves break. The principles of this ‘waterline’ method was first established by Admiral Sir R.H. Bacon during WWI.  Essentially, the ‘Rapidar’ is used in combination with online data from the Cefas Wavenet and the National Tide and Sea Level Facility websites to remotely track wave behaviour and beach erosion during winter storms.

Further computer modelling work being undertaken by Liverpool on the BLUEcoast project aims to examine the sensitivity of Minsmere water levels to climate change and the vulnerability of the beach to sea-level rise. For more details on the BLUEcoast project, please go to: http://projects.noc.ac.uk/bluecoast/

Andy Plater, University of Liverpool.