Case Study Areas

The case studies for this project will focus on Liverpool Bay and the Suffolk Coastline (from Lowestoft to Harwich)

Liverpool Bay

Liverpool Bay is a prototypical macrotidal shelf sea where the regional dynamics are strongly influenced by the adjacent estuaries. Liverpool Bay is a strategic research area; it was home to the NOC Irish Sea Observatory and has hosted the NERC FORMOST and FREE COFEE projects, as well as the EU MICORE project.

It is a coastal region comprising sand dunes, tidal flats, mud flats, salt marsh and hard engineering structures, where strong horizontal and vertical gradients are present. Tidal currents dominate, but it is the residual circulation (normally much weaker), which determines the fate of freshwater and suspended sediment transport. Residual transport in estuaries coastal areas, is greatly modified by the effects of density gradients and stratification in such a way that the sediment pathways can change direction up to 90º. This promotes sedimentation in estuaries and adjacent coasts with important morphodynamic implications.

 

 

 

Suffolk Coast

This study area extends 73km from Lowestoft to Harwich in Suffolk and has numerous towns and villages, two nuclear power stations and a major port situated on glacial cliffs or on low lying land fronted by shingle ridges. This coastline featured prominently in the Southern North Sea Transport Study, and served as a test site for EA-SC006074 [18]. It is complex in terms of its alongshore transitions between adjacent coastal profile types. Geomorphologically, this coast is notable for the strong connections that define a more-or-less continuous littoral drift system, the presence of numerous controlling headlands and forelands (including various nesses), numerous estuaries (including the Blyth, Deben, Alde/Ore and Stour), and process links between the nearshore and offshore bank systems.