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Climate change and coastal evolution in Europe


To study the effects on Atlantic and North Sea coastal zones of
climate induced relative sea-level changes, variations in
storminess patterns, and occurence of extreme flooding events, in
particular, the response of coastal systems, and the sediment
delivery to those systems.

To assess the links between the short term time-scale, and the
longer (geological) time-scale.

To provide better tools for forecasting future changes of coastal
dynamics, useful for coastal management authorities.

To provide a considerable exchange - and to promote the
development - of technical know-how, methodologies, and specific
expertise between the participating organisations.

To assess the impact of human activities on coastal zones.

The objectives will be reached through the integration of two
lines of research:

On the short term time scale (year/decade to century) and at
selected sites, the quantification of the response signals of
coastal change to relative sea-level rise and changes in
storminess (extreme flooding events).

On the long term time scale (century to millennium) and in a
regional sense, investigation and - where possible -
quantification of the recognizable signals of coastal response to
known or extrapolated sea-level changes and reconstructed climate
fluctuations. The significance of the local, short term
responses to more regional coastal behaviour are to be assessed.

One of the problems faced, is the relationship between these two
scales. It is still unclear how the geological, the historical,
and the tide-gauge records relate to one another. It will
therefore be necessary to define, generate and test new
analytical methods. This will promote the integration of the
long term approach - based on the Holocene sedimentary record -
and the short term data set of coastal and tidal changes,
sea-level fluctuations and storminess patterns.

The exchanges between the participating organisations will be
furthered by field workshops, laboratory trainings, and support
and trainings in computer-assisted techniques.

Where possible, attention will be paid to what degree human
activities in the coastal zones trigger a measurable response of
coastal evolution. For instance: The effect of removal of
sediments from coastal areas for construction work; the effects
of changes in land use inland and their impact upon the sediment
delivery to the coastline; the effects of coastal protection
measures on adjacent coastlines with no protective structures;
the effects of human activity on dune-fringed coasts; the effects
in earlier times of deforestation on sedimentation rates.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Rijks Geologische Dienst - Nederland

2000 AD Haarlem

Participants (9)

United Kingdom
Priory Street
CV1 5FB Coventry
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)
1 Place Aristide Briand
92195 Meudon
Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas
Ciudad Universitaria (Fac. Geologicas)
28071 Madrid
Queen's University of Belfast
United Kingdom
University Road
BT7 1NN Belfast
United Kingdom
South Road, Sciences Laboratories
DH1 3LE Durham
Universidade de Lisboa
Campo Grande
1700 Lisboa
Universidade de Lisboa
58,Rua Da Escola Politecnica
1294 Lisboa
Universidade do Minho
Largo Do Paço
4719 Braga
University College Cork
College Road
30 Cork