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The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Coastal Seminar Series Seminar

25 March 2014
University of Southampton Highfield Campus Building 44/1057

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Barend Van Maanen at .

Event details

Dr Samantha Cope: "Application of region-wide monitoring data to inform coastal management; examples from southern England"

These seminars illustrate the breadth of coastal studies at the University of Southampton. Traditionally, this seminar series is held at Highfield, hosted by the faculty of Engineering and the Environment and will aim to showcase areas of research within the coastal research theme at Ocean and Earth Science.

A large-scale, government funded, regional monitoring programme was introduced in 2002, to provide a systematic approach to collection, management and analysis of data for use in strategic and operational management of coastal erosion and flood risk in south-east England. The programme was rolled out nationally in 2010, delivering freely available data to all (

The Channel Coastal Observatory, located at the National Oceanography Centre, is the data centre for the programme. The data is archived and analysed by the team, supplying user friendly outputs to the local coastal engineers. Data is further analysed as part of government research initiatives, producing valuable coastal processes information. The findings feed directly into management decisions at a strategic level, through the production of Shoreline Management Plans and at a local level, through engineering schemes. In addition, the data is used as a visual tool to engage the public on historical coastal change and possible future change under rising sea levels and increased storminess.

This talk will introduce the monitoring programme and focus on the following examples of data analysis and interpretation across the coastal zone of southern England;

  • Habitat mapping and prediction under rising sea levels
  • Mapping of sediment stores and sinks
  • Cliff and landslide mapping and prediction under a changing climate
  • Public engagement

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Speaker information

Dr Samantha Cope, Channel Coastal Observatory. I have been a Coastal Process Scientist since 2003, employed by the New Forest District Council and based at the Channel Coastal Observatory. My main role is to undertake and project manage coastal research commissioned by central government, local authorities and organisations such as SCOPAC ( The majority of research covers the SCOPAC coastline between Portland Bill, Dorset to Beachy Head, East Sussex and focuses on coastal processes which inform coastal management decisions. Being based at the Channel Coastal Observatory is ideal as data from the National Network of Coastal Monitoring Programmes ( can be directly analysed and interpreted in ArcGIS as part of the research projects. I am also responsible for the coastal and terrestrial habitat mapping element of the National Network of Monitoring Programmes. Outputs from this element of the Programme inform environmental assessments which are required under European and National law where coastal management has a "significant impact" on habitats.

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