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The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

Research project: Sediment transport pathways offshore between Poole and Christchurch Bays

Currently Active: 

The coast between Bournemouth and Milford-on-Sea is densely populated, and millions of pounds have been spent replenishing beach sediment at Bournemouth - with a total of 4.5 m3 of renourishment sediment volume.

It is estimated that Bournemouth beach loses about 70,000 m3 per year from the replenished frontage (Harlow, 2012). Data from the Channel Coastal Observatory (CCO) and Standing Conference on Problems Associated with the Coastline (SCOPAC) will be used to investigate several regional questions regarding the source, storage and destination of sediment along this portion of the south coast.

Dolphin Bank bathymetry
Figure 1


  • A variety of data sources from the CCO and SCOPAC including: sediment transport maps, beach profiles, cliff lines, wind, wave and water level measurements, multibeam bathymetry surveys, LIDAR and post-storm laser
  • Sediment samples for grain-trend analysis and mineralogy analysis

Key Objectives

  • To investigate sediment pathways in the offshore region between Bournemouth and Milford-on-Sea
  • To account for the discrepancy in rates of littoral drift between Poole Bay and Christchurch Bay
  • To establish the sediment source for Dolphin Bank and Dolphin Sand
  • To investigate the mechanism of formation of the linear sand banks just west of Hengistbury Head
Zoom of Dolphin Bank bedforms
Figure 2

Key Contacts

Dr Shari Gallop

Dr Justin Dix

Dr Charlie Thompson

Dr Ivan Haigh

PhDs and Other Opportunities


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