The effectiveness of beach mega-nourishment, assessed over three management epochs

Brown, J. M., Phelps, J. J.C., Barkwith, A., Hurst, M. D. , Ellis, M. A. and Plater, A. J. (2016) The effectiveness of beach mega-nourishment, assessed over three management epochs. Journal of Environmental Management, 184(Pt. 2), pp. 400-408. (doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.09.090) (PMID:27742152)

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Resilient coastal protection requires adaptive management strategies that build with nature to maintain long-term sustainability. With increasing pressures on shorelines from urbanisation, industrial growth, sea-level rise and changing storm climates soft approaches to coastal management are implemented to support natural habitats and maintain healthy coastal ecosystems. The impact of a beach mega-nourishment along a frontage of interactive natural and engineered systems that incorporate soft and hard defences is explored. A coastal evolution model is applied to simulate the impact of different hypothetical mega-nourishment interventions to assess their impacts’ over 3 shoreline management planning epochs: present-day (0–20 years), medium-term (20–50 years) and long-term (50–100 years). The impacts of the smaller interventions when appropriately positioned are found to be as effective as larger schemes, thus making them more cost-effective for present-day management. Over time the benefit from larger interventions becomes more noticeable, with multi-location schemes requiring a smaller initial nourishment to achieve at least the same benefit as that of a single-location scheme. While the longer-term impact of larger schemes reduces erosion across a frontage the short-term impact down drift of the scheme can lead to an increase in erosion as the natural sediment drift becomes interrupted. This research presents a transferable modelling tool to assess the impact of nourishment schemes for a variety of sedimentary shorelines and highlights both the positive and negative impact of beach mega-nourishment.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research was funded through the NERC Environmental Risks to Infrastructure Innovation, Research Grant: “Sandscaping for Mitigating Coastal Flood and Erosion Risk to Energy Infrastructure on Gravel Shorelines: a case study approach” (grant no. NE/M008061/1) and the NERC highlight topic “Physical and biological dynamic coastal processes and their role in coastal recovery” (BLUE-coast, grant no. NE/N015614/1). The authors would also like to acknowledge that this interdisciplinary collaboration emerged from the EPSRC-funded C project: Adaptation and Resilience of Coastal Energy Supply (ARCoES) (EP/I035390/1).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hurst, Dr Martin
Authors: Brown, J. M., Phelps, J. J.C., Barkwith, A., Hurst, M. D., Ellis, M. A., and Plater, A. J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Environmental Management
ISSN (Online):1095-8630
Published Online:11 October 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Environmental Management 184 (Pt. 2):400-408
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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