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t2 45

t2 45

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Published by: Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research on May 02, 2007
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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T2.45 - fact sheethttp://tyndall.e-collaboration.co.uk/publications/fact_sheets/untitled/t2_...1 of 215/9/05 9:53 am
 
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The influence of climate change on the erosion of beaches andcliffs
Sea level rise, more extreme weather, higher rainfall and greater wave energy will accelerate erosion of beaches andcoastal cliffs. The coast of east and southeast Britain is particularly vulnerable due to its open ocean setting and soft cliffs.The nature and speed of these changes, and consequent management responses to these, will have major implications forsociety, habitats, industry and infrastructure and thus need to be understood. In particular, more needs to be known aboutwhich parts of the coast are most vulnerable to coastal erosion, where sediment liberated by erosion is transported, andhow long it remains on the foreshore.Dr John Rees, from the British Geological Survey, and colleagues will model shoreline changes and sediment sources andsinks to provide new information about the mobility of sediment on East Anglian beaches. They will simulate sedimenttransport to predict annual drift rates under a range of climatic, sea-level and management scenarios, and develop aprofile evolution model to predict changes in foreshore shape. The focus is on a stretch of coastline between Weybourneand Happisburgh in East Anglia characterised by mixed sediment and soft rocks, so the results and generic modellingtechniques will be able to be applied to any soft-cliff coastline. The researchers will predict shoreline evolution usingscenarios of future climate change and storylines of socio-economic trends. They will also explore novel ways of communicating the results, making use of computer visualisations.The results will allow specific coastal changes and their implications and costs to be explored with scientists anddecision-makers such as those at DEFRA and the Environment Agency. Better models of coastal profile evolution andsediment transportation will lead to a more accurate evaluation of different coastal management strategies. The modelswill also contribute important descriptions of coastal changes to the Tyndall Centre's Regional Coastal Simulator.
Contrasting beach sediment over a very short distance of coast either side of a landslide at Sidestrand, North Norfolk,looking north-west (top) and southeast. A new Tyndall project is simulating the effect of sea level rise, changing wave patterns and increases in rainfall on East Anglian coastal cliffs and beaches to develop sustainable solutions to climatechange.

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