A REGIONAL STUDY OF COASTAL MORPHOLOGY

I.H. Townend, C.A. Fleming, P. McLaren, A. Hunter-Blair

Abstract


In 1987 Anglian Water (now the National Rivers Authority, Anglian Region) initiated a coastal management study covering 750 km of coastline, the largest and most comprehensive study of its kind in the UK. Stage I involved the selection of the best technical approach to the problem. In Stage II the successful consultants adopted a philosophy of maximising the use of existing data sources through a geographic information system (GIS) incorporating a database and powerful enquiry facilities. In all 19 main variables were included in the GIS database, each with complex data structures in order to provide a comprehensive description of any particular variable. The main variables were selected on the basis that they either provided information on the direct influences or responses of the coast or on their implications with respect to any protection strategy that may be implemented. Analysis of the data through the GIS led to a number of significant findings with respect to dominant processes on the coast. This work also highlighted the areas in which further data collection and study would be beneficial to formulating the most appropriate long term management strategy. As a result Stage III of the study has been initiated in order to develop a better understanding of the physical processes responsible for the mechanisms identified.

Keywords


coastal morphology

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