New Book on Coastal Simulation Published

As explained by Prof. Richard Dawson (Newcastle University) at the iCOASST final conference, the future of coastal areas is contingent upon multiple pressures, which when analysed independently, tell us very little about what to realistically expect in the decades ahead. Understanding better the uncertainties and interplay between the driving forces of coastal change and hence, how particular coasts may look in 25, 50 and 100 years from now is critical for adaptive planning.

A new book, 'Broad scale coastal simulation: New techniques to understand and manage shorelines in the third millennium,' (edited by R.J., Nicholls, R. Dawson and S. Day) draws together a decade of the Tyndall Centre’s coastal research. Motivated by a desire to understand the complex interplay between geomorphological, climatic, and socio-economic drivers of change, the multi-disciplinary team of climate scientists, oceanographers, engineers, ecologists, morphologists and social scientists embarked upon developing an integrated approach which has become known as the Tyndall Coastal Simulator.

The Tyndall Coastal Simulator uses the North Norfolk coast of England, UK as its primary case study. It is the world's first attempt to produce a downscaled analysis applied to a particular coastal region, linking global changes to local wave climate, regional climate scenarios sea-level rise and their consequences. It quantifies for the first time how coastal erosion in one place and coastal flood risk in another are strongly linked. This has important implications for shoreline management planning both in the UK and more widely, where piecemeal, uncoordinated management is often counterproductive. The ethos of the Simulator is to support informed long-term coastal management policies that can adapt to new knowledge, as well as evolving societal priorities. The work was awarded the Lloyds Science of Risk prize in 2012.

"The Tyndall Coastal Simulator gives an important exemplar of the approaches required to provide science-based management of the world's coasts in the coming decades" says Prof. Robert Nicholls (University of Southampton).

The development and application of a framework for coastal modelling (to describe various processes such as morphodynamics, storm surge, erosion, flooding and land-use change), as well as visualisation techniques and the evolution of a user interface are all explained in the book. It acts as a step-by-step guide through the technical process of integrated assessment of coastal areas at a broad scale, in a manner suitable for strategic coastal management. To this end, the Tyndall Coastal Simulator approach of coupling visualisation tools with simulation models provides a powerful tool for analysing present and future trajectories of coastal evolution.

The book also documents the process of engagement with a range of stakeholders who are responsible for and affected by coastal management decisions. This important aspect of the work brought great value and a steering function to the research. In turn, being involved in the development of the Simulator brought about a better understanding of present and future coastal dynamics, and potential adaptation considerations on the ground.

Although the research is centred in North Norfolk, the book draws on international experiences to identify key principles that enable the Tyndall Coastal Simulator to be transferred to any other coastal system, including those subjected to tsunamis, hurricanes, and changing marine ecosystems.

End notes:

Link to the book via Springer:

Posted 17/03/2016 09:41 by Robert Nicholls (Southampton)

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