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The University of Southampton

Research project: Coastal resilience in the face of sea-level rise

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How can coasts be made more resilience to cope with climate change?

Coastal erosion will lead to infrastructure loss
Coastal erosion will lead to infrastructure loss

Climate change poses a significant threat to the UK’s coasts, including the effects of sea-level rise and coastal erosion. English and Welsh coasts are strategically managed through Shoreline Management Plans which indicate management options, such as defend or realign, over the next 100 years. A major part of increasing the resilience to climate change in coasts, is to strategically manage the shoreline and anticipate change so that sensible management decisions are made decades ahead.

To date, much concentration on Shoreline Management Plans has been based on the domains of physical science and engineering, with less consideration of the people who affected. There is a lack of common learning of how difficult decisions have been made in managing the coast and increasing climate resilience.

Coastal flooding is likely to increase with climate change
Coastal flooding is likely to increase with climate change

This project will take a more integrated view of these issues and aims to:

*Determine the types of coast (archetypes) that are prone to climate-driven risks

*Understand the types of high-level adaptation options available.

*Determine pathways of adaptation to increase climate resilience on coasts.


Key to a successful project in the involvement of stakeholders. In this project, we will engage with coastal stakeholders such as the Channel Coastal Observatory who co-designed this project.

Related research groups

Energy and Climate Change
Earth Surface Dynamics
Global Environmental Change and Earth Observation
Physical Oceanography
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