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The University of Southampton
Engineering

Climate Change and Coasts

The coast is the dynamic interface between the land and the sea. Our work is looking at the potential impact of climate change projections across scales from county to city port and wetland.

Sea-level rise and storm surges represent challenges to man-made infrastructure ranging from power stations to sea defences and ports. Coastal management strategies encompass wetlands and deltas in addition to managed retreat and traditional defence approaches. Working across faculty boundaries, our work is focussed on:

  • (i) understanding the mechanisms of coastal erosion and deposition across management scales, in terms of measurement, monitoring and modelling;
  • (ii) the economic implications of climate change (sea-level rise, storm events, flooding) at the coast in terms of impacts, climate mitigation and adaptation, including the long term viability of ports, towns or regions;
  • (iii) the relationship between governance, the bio-physical environment and social behaviour within coastal areas.

A major output of our work is the contribution to major governmental and international policy discussions, most notable the Stern Review and the IPCC reports. We work with major industrial players, such as HR Wallingford, ABPmer, Kenneth Pye Associates Ltd in addition to the UK Met Office, central government (e.g. DECC / DEFRA / DFID) and intergovernmental organisations (e.g., OECD).

Beaches protect low lying areas
Extreme waves
espa
icoasst

Sea-level rise and storm surges represent challenges to man-made infrastructure ranging from power stations to sea defences and ports. Coastal management strategies encompass wetlands and deltas in addition to managed retreat and traditional defence approaches. Working across faculty boundaries, our work is focussed on:

  • (i) understanding the mechanisms of coastal erosion and deposition across management scales, in terms of measurement, monitoring and modelling;
  • (ii) the economic implications of climate change (sea-level rise, storm events, flooding) at the coast in terms of impacts, climate mitigation and adaptation, including the long term viability of ports, towns or regions;
  • (iii) the relationship between governance, the bio-physical environment and social behaviour within coastal areas.

A major output of our work is the contribution to major governmental and international policy discussions, most notable the Stern Review and the IPCC reports. We work with major industrial players, such as HR Wallingford, ABPmer, Kenneth Pye Associates Ltd in addition to the UK Met Office, central government (e.g. DECC / DEFRA / DFID) and intergovernmental organisations (e.g., OECD).

Beaches protect low lying areas
Extreme waves
espa
icoasst

The National Oceanography Centre hosts a unique suite of flume facilities allowing investigations of the near-bed region of the boundary layer allowing measurements of flow, turbulence, bed stability and sediment transport processes. This includes a selection of annular, re-circulating and scour flumes designed for use in the laboratory as well as versions designed for on-ship and in situ deployments. We also host a fully equipped sediment analysis laboratory allowing full particle size analysis and examination of sediment fabric.

Various numerical modelling software (e.g. Danish Hydraulics Institute Mike21 suite of tools, Wave Watch III) is run on our High Performance Computing facilities, including our new fourth generation cluster, IRIDIS 4, which is the most powerful academic supercomputer in England and the second largest academic computational facility in the UK behind National Facility.

List of related projects to
Related ProjectsStatusType
CLIMSAVE - Climate change integrated assessment methodology for cross-sectoral adaptation and vulnerability in EuropeActiveOther
ESPA Deltas ActiveOther
iCOASST - integrating coastal sediment systemsActiveOther
Quantifying projected impacts under 2°C warming (IMPACT2C)ActiveOther
THESEUS: Innovative technologies for safe European coasts in a changing climateActiveOther
The impact of tide gates on fish migrationActiveOther
Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium (ITRC)ActiveOther
Effects of Posidonia oceanica on sediment transport: implications for the protection of shorelinesActiveOther
Impact of seabed properties on the ampacity and reliability of cablesActiveOther
Sediment-water column exchange of nutrients in coastal and shelf-sea watersActiveOther
Vertical turbulence structures in the benthic boundary layer as related to suspended sedimentActiveOther
Flood MEMORY: Multi-Event Modelling Of Risk & recoverYActiveOther
iGlass: Using interglacials to assess future sea level scenariosActiveOther
The influence of reefs on coastal oceanography, erosion and recoveryActiveOther
Meridional Overturning and North Atlantic heat Content (MONACO)ActiveOther
Quantifying projected impacts under 2°C warming (IMPACT2C)ActiveOther
Can we maintain efficient energy supplies? Adaptation and Resilience of Coastal Energy Supply (ARCoES)ActiveOther
Quantifying projected impacts under high end climate change (RISES-AM-)ActiveOther
Shipping in changing climatesActiveOther
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