CMAR - Coastal Marine Applied Research: Projects

B-Scan: Beach bed-level Scanner

Location: West Bay, Dorset, Penzance, Cornwall, and Dawlish, Devon
Project dates: August 2019–May 2022 
Clients: Environment Agency 
  • Proof-of-concept design for autonomous bed-level measurements.
  • Stand-alone sensor providing remote measurements of beach fluctuation in front of sea defences.
  • Daily profile data to improve accuracy of overtopping forecasts.
  • B-Scan can aid beach management operations when beach ‘trigger’ levels are reached.
“Almost anywhere with a Beach Management Plan (BMP) could benefit from this technique, particularly when it can be linked to specific trigger points as defined in the BMP, which automatically feedback alerts to a user base" Martin Davies, Environment Agency
<p>B-SCAN autonomous bed level sensor being piloted at Dawlish, Devon (left panel), with example scan data (right panel)<br></p>

B-SCAN autonomous bed level sensor being piloted at Dawlish, Devon (left panel), with example scan data (right panel)

<p>Rip current behaviour and velocity simulated in XBeach</p>

Rip current behaviour and velocity simulated in XBeach

Beach hazards operational forecasting

Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Project dates: May 2018–December 2019
Clients: Auckland Council and Surf Life Saving Northern Regions

  • Analysis of 10 years of lifeguard incident records.
  • Field measurements of rip currents on two Auckland beaches.
  • Numerical modelling of rip current hazard under varying wave and tide conditions (X-beach).
  • Analysis of environmental forcing of beach hazards including rip currents.

“Our increased understanding of beach hazards, has ensured that SLSNZ can effectively communicate the dangers of rip currents and wind conditions to the general public.”

PDF of the case study

Feasibility study for intertidal habitat creation scheme

Location: River Tamar, UK
Project dates: April 2017–December 2017
Clients: National Trust

  • UAV topographic survey, in situ tide measurements.
  • Analysis of tidal flows and hydrodynamic model analysis.
  • Quantification of inundation rates and habitat colonisation.
  • Proposal of scheme options.
PDF of the case study

<p>Reclaimed saltmarsh in river Tamar, UK</p>
<p>The Outer Mole, Boscastle Harbour</p>

The Outer Mole, Boscastle Harbour

Boscastle 'Mole' hydrodynamic study

Location: Boscastle, Cornwall 
Project dates: October 2019 – March 2020
Clients: National Trust

  • Determine the effect of the harbour ‘Mole’ on hydrodynamics.
  • In situ measurement of wave climate around harbour structures.
  • Numerical modelling of waves and hydrodynamics within the harbour.
  • Model comparison with and without the presence of the harbour Mole.

"CMAR was the perfect organisation for this project. The research has delivered tangible results which we can use to inform our management of this property in the face of future climate change."
PDF of the case study

Geomorphological assessment of the gravel barrier at Westward Ho!

Location: Westward Ho!, North Devon
Project dates: December 2019 – January 2020
Clients: Natural England

  • Assessment of geomorphological processes at Westward Ho!
  • Impact of storm events on the gravel barrier.
  • Assessment of current management practices.
  • Prediction of gravel barrier behaviour given projected climate change impacts.

“This report has provided us and others with robust evidence to base future positive coastal management decisions on. The monitoring and data presented has helped advance the understanding of this feature and what likely change will happen in future epochs.”

PDF of the case study

<p>Westward Ho! Gravel barrier during a storm&nbsp;</p>

Westward Ho! Gravel barrier during a storm in 2014

<p>South Devon beach coastal cliff</p>

Coastal cliff retreat study

Location: South Hams, Devon
Project dates: May 2020
Client: private homeowner

  • Assessment of historic coastline positions from historic mapping.
  • Response to relative sea level rise.
  • LiDAR analysis of contemporary cliff response.
  • Prediction of future cliff position under future sea-level rise scenarios.

“Many thanks for your expert, comprehensive and fast response to my request, I'm very grateful to you for turning the report around so quickly.”
PDF of the case study

Beach hazard assessment and expert witness services

Location: various 
Project dates: 2014–present 
Clients: local councils, land owners, coroners

  • Assessment of beach morphology and associated bathing hazards.
  • Investigation of forcing conditions (wind, waves, tide, and currents).
  • Spatial and temporal mapping of key hazards.
  • Expert witness statements for coroners inquests.

PDF of the case study

<p>Beach hazard map</p>

Example beach hazards map

<p>XBeach-G numerical model of Chiswell beach</p>

XBeach-G numerical model of Chiswell beach

Chiswell Storm flood analysis

Location: Chiswell Beach, Portland, UK
Project dates: December 2017–March 2018
Clients: Environment Agency

  • Historical Flood Event Analysis.
  • Analysis of in-situ groundwater data.
  • XBeach-G model simulations of storm events.
  • Development of flood ensemble criteria using forcing conditions.

‘‘The work produced by CMAR was well presented and considered excellent value for money. It has enabled the Environment Agency to better understand the flood impacts at Chiswell, improve our incident management training and provide the evidence base to improve our flood forecasting criteria.’’

PDF of the case study

Coastal Processes Impact Assessment for Ireland’s ‘Westwave’ Wave Energy Test Site

Location: Co. Clare, Ireland
Project dates: August 2016–October 2017
Clients: Electricity Supply Board of Ireland

  • Assessment of background wave climate and coastal processes.
  • Numerical modelling of nearshore wave conditions and tidal currents.
  • Numerical modelling of wave energy converters and potential wave shadow.
  • Numerical modelling of beach morphology under an altered wave climate.

PDF of the case study

<p>Modelled wave shadow from offshore wave energy converter array at Westwave, Co. Clare Ireland</p>
<p>Exemouth single beam survey</p>

Mapping of Exmouth seafront using shallow water vessel and single beam echo sounder

Location: Exmouth Seafront, UK 
Project dates: March 2018
Clients: Lewis Brown Chartered Land Surveyors

  • Single beam bathymetric survey for 400m section of seafront.
  • Specialist shallow survey vessel used to overlap with intertidal data.
  • Data provided for coastal sea defence.
PDF of the case study

Evaluation of waves and water levels in the Tamar estuary

Location: Tamar estuary, Plymouth, UK
Project dates: October 2017
Clients: Geo Consulting Engineering Ltd.

  • Compute design wave and water levels in the Tamar estuary.
  • Hindcast fetch- and depth-limited historic wave time series from wind data.
  • Compute maximum wave runup and still water level in the estuary.
  • Conduct Extreme Value Analysis (EVA) on wave height and total water level.

PDF of the case study

<p>Tamar estuary wave rose</p>
<p>Coastal Marine Applied Research -&nbsp;Mapping of nearshore current circulation around Ventnor Haven entrance</p>

Mapping of nearshore current circulation around Ventnor Haven entrance

Location: Ventnor Haven, UK
Project dates: December 2016–February 2017
Clients: Royal Haskoning DHV

  • GPS drifter study of nearshore currents.
  • Analysis of contrasting wave and tide conditions.
  • Quantification of current speed and flow direction.
  • Data provided to help validate a numerical model.

"Great work you did there CMAR and great to work with you on such a complex issue."

PDF of the case study

Improving SEPA’s national coastal flood hazard dataset

Location: Scotland, UK
Project dates: June 2016–August 2016
Clients: CREW, Scotland’s Centre of Expertise for Waters, and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)

  • Desk-based study to investigate ways to better incorporate wave setup and runup, and wind setup components in SEPA's coastal flood risk maps. 
  • Review of scientific, peer-reviewed literature on coastal flood modelling.

"CMAR provided us with high quality advice with an excellent understanding of our requirements. The work was delivered on time and to a high standard. I would have no hesitation in recommending the team. Many thanks!"

<p>image courtesy of Scotland’s
Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW),
and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)</p>
Quantification of Beach Risk in The UK and ROI

Quantification of beach risk in The UK and Republic of Ireland

Location: Desk-based study
Project dates: October 2014–July 2015
Client: Royal National Lifeboat Institution

  • Generation of an agreed list of British beaches.
  • Identification and collation of relevant and feasible risk-related beach parameters.
  • Statistical predictions of beach user numbers, beach hazard, and overall life risk at 644 beaches.

PDF of the case study

Scientific paper from the case study 

Topographic rip currents around coastal groyne structures

Location: Bournemouth, UK
Project dates: October 2012
Clients: Royal National Lifeboat Institution and the UK Met Office

  • Ten day field experiment.
  • Observation from both fixed instruments (wave, tide and current meters) and GPS-drifters.
  • Quantification of topographic rip currents and rip circulation patterns.
  • Calibration and validation of a numerical model (XBeach).
PDF of the case study 

Topographic Rip Currents Around Coastal Groyne Structures
Do not use. Newquay wave damage.

Analysis of wave loading on sea defences

Location: Fistral beach, Newquay, UK
Project dates: December 2014
Client: Geo Consulting Engineering

  • Estimation of wave set-up at the structure from nearshore wave buoy measurements.
  • Prediction of tidal elevation using a calibrated harmonic method.
  • Estimation of 1 per cent exceedance atmospheric (wind and inverse barometric effect) surge statistics using tide gauge data and a Monte Carlo method.
  • Weibull analysis of a peak wave height time series to predict the 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 year return significant wave heights at the structure toe for different toe depth scenarios.

PDF of the case study

South Efford marsh monitoring

Location: South Efford
Project dates: 2012–2016
Client: Environment Agency

  • Modelling frequency and duration of tidal inundation.
  • Regular terrestrial laser scanning of entire salt marsh.
  • Analysis of sediment and seed deposition.
  • Ecological monitoring including plant survey.
  • Marsh surface samples for foraminiferal analysis.

PDF of the case study

South Efford Marsh Monitoring
Perranporth Beach Bathymetry Survey

Perranporth beach bathymetry survey

Location: Perranporth, Cornwall, UK.
Project dates: May 2014
Client: Southampton University

  • Combined supratidal and subtidal survey.
  • Single-beam bathymetric survey.
  • RTK-GPS topographic survey.
PDF of the case study

Assessing the performance of Boscombe artificial surfing reef

Location: Boscombe, Bournemouth, UK
Project dates: May 2010
Client: Bournemouth Borough Council

  • Wave refraction modelling over the measured reef bathymetry to examine wave focusing and breaking on the reef.
  • Surfer mounted Global Positioning System (GPS) data recorded during surfing sessions at the reef and the beaches next to Boscombe pier.
  • Tidal height predictions, providing estimates of water level on the reef during observations.
  • Observation of surfer numbers on the reef and pier beaches taken by Seafront Rangers.

PDF of the case study

Boscombe wave