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The impacts of climate change and relative sea-level rise on the environmental resources of European coasts

Objective

The project centres upon two primary and linked objectives.
Firstly, to investigate the behaviour of sedimentary, or other
vulnerable coastal systems, under the conditions of sea-level
rise, in determining coastal positions in time and of their
interaction with other significant environmental controls.
Secondly, to evaluate the impacts of rising sea level, and linked
controls, upon coastal systems likely to be sensitive to
recording significant environmental changes under conditions of
climate forcing.


The different elements of the project are necessarily concerned
initially with the collection of data upon a range of coastal
systems changes and of these systems' sensitivity to various
environmental process controls. Both contemporary and past
records of change, at short to medium timescales (10{1} - 10{3}
years) will be examined to establish the impacts of sea-level
rise and of the coast's vulnerability to change. Coastal data
derived from remote sensing imagery (e.g. LANDSAT, SPOT),
archival - documentary sources and sedimentary - geomorhological
records will be obtained for European coastal environments.

Work concerned with determining the causes and patterns of
coastal functioning will concentrate upon the analysis of records
of wave, tide, climate and sediments data. Techniques will
involve those of precise site survey and the geophysical
investigation of alongshore to offshore changes. This work will
be linked to sedimentological studies, using stratigraphic -
coring and other techniques of sediments analysis. Laboratory
examination of these records will be undertaken to establish the
timescales and frequencies of environmental changes and of
information upon accompanying coastal process operations.
Statistical and mathematical approaches, involving quantification
of sediments behaviour; wave refraction - coastal dynamics,
tidal, sediment transfer, hydraulic and other models, will also
be used. These approaches will lead to the testing of the
records of coastal behaviour against established models.

In studies designed to establish the coastal zone's responses to
sea-level rise, and the significance of such environmental
impacts for approaches to coastal management, data collection
will be linked to the development of data monitoring approaches,
to database construction and to archiving. Information upon
coastal zone behaviour and sensitivity to changes will be
collected using aerial, remote sensing and field truthing
techniques; coupled to the establishment of appropriate data
handling systems using GIS approaches. The mapping and
interpretation of these data will be used to investigate
appropriate methods for linking local scale coastal environmental
data (e.g. 1:2500), essential for the accurate definition of
coastal impact and resource use problems, with their
representation at regional scales (e.g. 1:50,000 and 1:250,000).

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

University College Cork
Address
College Road
30 Cork
Ireland

Participants (8)

COVENTRY UNIVERSITY
United Kingdom
Address
Priory Street
CV1 5FB Coventry
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
France
Address
1 Place Aristide Briand
92195 Meudon
MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT PUBLIC WORKS AND WATER MANAGEMENT
Netherlands
Address
Kortenaerkade 1
2500 EX Den Haag ('S-gravenhage)
UNIVERSITY OF ULSTER
United Kingdom
Address
Cromore Road
BT52 1SA Coleraine
UNIVERSITÉ DE PROVENCE, AIX-MARSEILLE
France
Address
Place Victor Hugo 3
13331 Marseille
Universidade de Lisboa
Portugal
Address
Campo Grande
1700 Lisboa
University of Durham
United Kingdom
Address
South Road
DH1 3LE Durham
Université d'Aix-Marseille I (Université de Provence)
France
Address
29 Avenue Robert Schuman
13090 Aix-en-provence