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TEMPORAL AND SPATIAL VARIABILITY OF MAJOR FLOODS AROUND NORTH SEA COASTS

Objective

TO DISCOVER THE FREQUENCY AND EXTENT OF STORM SURGES AND TO DERIVE A PREDICTIVE MODEL AND THEIR ACTIVITY.

THE WORK WILL BEGIN WITH LITERATURE SURVEYS, INCLUDING REFERENCE TO PUBLISHED WORK ON HISTORICAL RECORDS OF STORM SURGES.COMPUTER ANALYSIS OF THIS DATA WILL BE PERFORMED.SITES WILL BE EXAMINED ON LAND AT THE COASTAL MARGIN WHERE SEDIMENTS HAVE ACCUMULATED IN QUIET WATER CONDITIONS WITH AS LITTLE INTERRUPTION AS POSSIBLE.AT EACH LOCATION A LARGE NUMBER OF BOREHOLES WILL BE PUT DOWN BY MANUALLY OPERATED SAMPLERS AT INTERVALS OF DOWN TO A FEW METRES TO ESTABLISH THE STRATIGRAPHY AND THE PALAEO-BATHYMETRY.STORM SURGE LAYERS ARE COMMONLY REPRESENTED BY THIN LAYERS OF SAND, USUALLY VISIBLE IN THE CORES.SAMPLES WILL BE TAKEN ACROSS SEQUENCES AT SELECTED POINTS AND RETURNED TO THE LABORATORY.EACH SITE WILL, IN ADDITION TO STRATIGRAPHICAL INVESTIGATION, BE CAREFULLY MAPPED. LABORATORY ANALYSIS WILL INVOLVE GEOCHEMICAL STUDIES, MICROFOSSIL STUDIES AND 14C ASSAY OF APPROPRIATE BIOGENIC HORIZONS.GEOCHEMICAL ANALYSIS WILL INVOLVE STUDIES OF ORGANIC CARBON, ALUMINIUM, AND MAGNESIUM TO DETERMINE THE CONTINUITY OF DEPOSITION, TO ESTABLISH WHETHER LACUNAE EXIST, FOR CORE CORRELATION.MICRO-FOSSIL STUDIES WILL INCLUDE POLLEN ANALYSIS TO ESTABLISH THE VEGETATIONAL CONTEXT AND APPROXIMATE PERIOD OF DEPOSITION, AND IMPORTANTLY, DIATOM ANALYSIS TO ESTABLISHED THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT.STORM SURGE LAYERS HAVE BEEN FOUND TO CONTAIN HIGH VALUES OF MARINE DIATOMS, MOSTLY CENTRICS, IN AN ERODED CONDITION.BIOGENIC SAMPLES FROM ABOVE AND BELOW THE STORMS SURGE LAYERS WILL BE COLLECTED FOR 14C ASSAY. THUS AT EACH SITE, THEENVIRONMENTAL CONTEXT OF STORM SURGE LAYERS AND THEIR AGE WILL BE OBTAINED.IN ADDITION, THE LOCAL INCREASE IN RELATIVE SEA LEVEL DURING THE SURGE WILL BE OBTAINED FROM THE STRATIGRAPHY.EACH SITE WILL THUS PROVIDE INFORMATION WHICH WILL ENABLE CONCLUSIONS TO BE DRAWN ON THE TIMING AND EFFECT OF EACH SURGE EVENT. COMPUTATIONAL WORK WILL INVOLVE MODELLING SURGE EFFECTS AND SECULAR SEA LEVEL CHANGE FOR DIFFERENT STAGES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NORTH SEA DURING THE HOLOCENE, GIVEN DIFFERENT COASTLINES, SEA-FLOOR TOPOGRAPHIES AND WATER DEPTHS.THESE MODELS WILL BE COMPARED WITH OBSERVED SURGES FROM THE STRATIGRAPHIC RECORD.IN ADDITION, HISTORICAL DATA WILL BE USED TO ANALYSE MORE RECENT SURGES.THE OCCURRENCE OF THE EVENTS THROUGH TIME WILL BE ANALYSED AND POSSIBLE PREDICTIVE MODELS OF THEIR OCCURRENCE DERIVED.THUS BOTH HISTORICAL AND STRATIGRAPHICAL DATA WILL BE USED AND COMPUTATIONAL WORK WILL LAST THROUGH MUCH OF THE PROJECT.DURHAM UNIVERSITY WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ANALYSES OF DATA ON RELATIVE SEA-LEVEL CHANGES AND ON THE MAGNITUDE AND FREQUENCY OF STORM SURGE EVENTS IN RELATION TO SECULAR SEA-LEVEL CHANGES AND CRUSTAL SUBSIDENCE.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF DURHAM
Address
South Road
DH1 3LE Durham
United Kingdom

Participants (3)

BEHOERDE F WISS U FORSCHUNG
DEPT OF GEOGRAPHY
UNIV OF ATHENS