FD2319 - Absolute Fixing of Tide Gauge Benchmarks and Land Levels

Theme:Strategy and Policy Development
Project status:Completed
Start date:01/10/2003
End date:31/12/2006
  • Land,
  • Flood and Coastal Defence,
  • Environmental Protection,
  • Coastal Defence,
  • Risk
  • Natural Environment Research Council,
  • Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory,
  • University - Nottingham


The significance of the findings is that we have, for the first time, independent direct measurements of land level movements over the past decade with which to verify and refine previous indirect assessments.

The findings presented in the Technical Report will provide Defra with data needed to review policy directions on sea level rise allowances. The research findings do not indicate any major shocks or surprises emerging from the monitoring. This project will provide the basis for review and refinement rather than any major change in advice on sea level rise. This will become especially significant as Defra and the Environment Agency implement new climate change scenarios in


The Technical Report also explores the implications for predicting future risk from sea level rise at national and regional scales and should be of use to planners, policy makers, and those with an interest in dealing with sea level rise and coastal flood risk management.

This has been an exceptionally thorough and well-conducted programme of research. This is research at the cutting edge. The demands, on all parts of the measurement system of millimetre-scale accuracy are very high and require a high level of specialist expertise.


Use tide gauge, satellite GPS, absolute gravity and InSAR data from regional and national data scale to provide accurate information on current changes in absolute changes in ground levels and sea levels and the potential future relative changes of sea level around the coast of Britain and along the Thames Estuary.



Enhance current guidance on allowances or future sea level fluctuations for assessment of flood risk both operationally (Environment Agency) and strategically (Defra).