Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Removing sea defenses may reduce impact of coastal flooding

Date:
December 3, 2012
Source:
University of Southampton
Summary:
Ensuring continued flood protection for low lying coastal areas may mean sacrificing cliff top communities to the sea. New research shows that the benefits of protecting the English coastline from erosion must be balanced against the impacts of coastal flooding.

A study involving a scientist from the University of Southampton, which shows that ensuring continued flood protection for low lying coastal areas may mean sacrificing cliff top communities to the sea, has won the 2012 Lloyds Science of Risk prize for Climate Change research.

Related Articles


Robert Nicholls, Professor of Coastal Engineering at the University of Southampton and co-author of this study, says the research -- which will be further developed in a new book he is leading, to be launched in Spring 2013 -- says that the benefits of protecting our coastline from erosion must be balanced against the impacts of coastal flooding.

"The trade-off between protecting cliffs and their role in naturally nourishing our protective beaches will lead to difficult decisions, especially as sea levels are rising and finance is in short supply. This requires strategic planning for the future."

Professor Nicholls was part of a research team from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research which, by focussing on a 72km stretch of shoreline along the East Anglian coast, detailed the interconnection between the two risks of erosion and flooding and show that in some cases, allowing natural erosion could reduce the impact of flooding associated with rising sea levels.

Coastal defences put in place over the last century or so have re-shaped the UK coastline, artificially protecting some areas, but at the expense of beaches in adjacent areas.

This human-made situation increases the risk of flooding in low lying coastal settlements where beaches act as a natural flood defence. Beach levels can be artificially recharged, but maintaining this indefinitely along large stretches of coastline is costly and likely to be unsustainable.

Richard Dawson, Professor of Earth Systems Engineering at Newcastle University and lead author of this study, adds: "Coastal areas typify the environmental challenge our society faces -- their beauty and economic opportunities attracts settlement and they include some of our most important ecosystems and most productive farmland. Yet this exposes us to hazards such as erosion and flooding which will be exacerbated by sea-level rise.

"Clearly we can't, and wouldn't want to, remove all our sea defences, but there are difficult trade-offs to be made in prioritising coastal management measures.

"Our research provides a common platform to get all parties round the table -- local residents, policy-makers, insurers, scientists and farmers to name but a few -- to understand each other's perspectives, discuss potential compensatory arrangements, and collectively decide the best way forward."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southampton. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Southampton. "Removing sea defenses may reduce impact of coastal flooding." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121203082054.htm>.
University of Southampton. (2012, December 3). Removing sea defenses may reduce impact of coastal flooding. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121203082054.htm
University of Southampton. "Removing sea defenses may reduce impact of coastal flooding." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121203082054.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) EU leaders achieve a show of unity by striking a compromise deal on carbon emissions. But David Cameron's bid to push back EU budget contributions gets a slap in the face as the European Commission demands an extra 2bn euros. David Pollard reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A rare tornado ripped roofs off buildings, uprooted trees and shattered windows Thursday afternoon in the southwest Washington city of Longview, but there were no reports of injuries. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) Lava from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has accelerated as it travels toward a town called Pahoa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins