The coastal zone supports the livelihood and well-being of hundreds of millions of people, valuable ecosystems and vital industry, trade links and energy networks. The movement of coastal sediments by natural processes and human interventions continually reshapes our coastal and marine environments, impacting on natural ecosystems, resources, and built assets, and our exposure to coastal hazards such as erosion and flooding. The motion of coastal sediments by tides, waves, currents [and wind and gravity] is complex and presents a formidable challenge we must address to implement sustainable, adaptive and resilient solutions to coastal change and risk management, infrastructure development, habitat conservation, and provision of renewable energy and marine resources.
This module considers the fundamental principles underpinning coastal sediment dynamics and their practical applications in a quantitative manner. Flow properties, the benthic boundary layer, and resulting sediment/seabed responses under waves and steady currents are summarised. Modes of transport and resulting bed evolution are described and algorithms for predicting sediment transport are defined. The dynamics of cohesive and non-cohesive sediment transport are considered, and the implications of biology and engineering interventions are addressed. These concepts are described in a field trips to Poole and Christchurch Bays and implications to coastal /ocean engineering and management are discussed with guest lecturers from industry and local government agencies.