FD1926 - Understanding and predicting beach morphological change, erosion of cohesive shore platforms - Part 2

Theme:Strategy and Policy Development
Project status:Completed
Start date:01/04/2005
End date:31/03/2007
  • Land,
  • Environmental Protection,
  • Flood and Coastal Defence,
  • Processes,
  • Coastal Defence
  • Haskoning UK Ltd


Through innovative field studies and laboratory testing this research has provided important direct measurements of downwearing rates on cohesive shore platforms. Combined with an extensive literature review and numerical modelling studies, the research has provided an important base to further understanding of the role cohesive platforms play on coastal morphology. The research also tentatively suggests preliminary management guidance; an area that may increase in importance as managed realignment is more widely considered. This report will be of interest to coastal scientists and managers alike.


Cohesive platforms are developed in relatively non-resistant, consolidated or partially consolidated cohesive sediments. The irreversible erosion of these platforms plays a large part in controlling the functioning of the wider coastal system, including beach form and shoreline recession, and poses significant problems for management. The research will provide a better understanding of the fundamental underlying principles that control the rate of cohesive shore platform erosion, this study will involve the collection of new data in order to attain a better predictive capability.
The research will investigate the following scientific problems; a)the specifics of the weathering and erosion processes, particularly biological and wave processes, b) the relationship between geology, material strength, weathering/erosion processes and platform morphology, and c)the prediction of cohesive platform evolution in the light of future climate change and human factors.



The scientific grounding gained from this research will be translated into detailed design guidance to help decision makers implement effective management strategies along these types of shoreline.