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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T004304/1
Title: Coastal modelling of extreme storms and sea-level rise (CMESSLR)
Principal Investigator: Masselink, Professor G
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Biological and Marine Sciences
Organisation: University of Plymouth
Scheme: Overseas Travel Grants (OTGS)
Starts: 06 January 2020 Ends: 05 July 2020 Value (£): 12,097
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Coastal & Waterway Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Water Environment
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
SUMMARY

Currently, more than 600 million people live <10 m above mean sea level, and sea-level rise (SLR) and potential changes in storminess, due to climate change, will increasingly expose these coastal communities to increased risk of coastal flooding and erosion. To predict coastal impacts of these climate change consequences, and help design adaptation strategies to deal with these impacts, requires accurate and robust numerical models operating over a range of time scales, from real-time and operational coastal flooding models to long-term and strategic coastal evolution models. A very wide variety of commercial and bespoke numerical coastal impact models are available and 'coastal modelling' has developed into a large and important research area.

Led by PI Masselink, the Coastal Processes Research Group at the University of Plymouth is involved with two major numerical modelling efforts: (1) development of an operational coastal flooding model for the SW coast of England in collaboration with the EA flood forecasting team; and (2) modelling the response of coral reef islands to sea-level rise with involvement of UNEP. These models can be significantly improved. For example, the operational coastal flooding model is a hydrodynamic, rather than a morphodynamic model, and the coral reef island modelling is not yet advanced enough to deal with long-term island evolution. Through interaction and collaboration with a number of world-leading coastal researchers and modellers at institutions in the Netherlands (Deltares), New Zealand (University of Auckland) and the United States (USGS), the aim of this Overseas Travel Grant is to fund a 6-month sabbatical to increase PI Masselink's coastal modelling capabilities and transfer this enhanced understanding to other members of Plymouth's coastal research team (CPRG and CMAR), potentially leading to transformative impacts on the coastal research and modelling capabilities at the University of Plymouth.

Three back-to-back 2-month visits are planned from mid-January 2020 to mid-July 2020. The direct purpose of the research visits is to: (1) study up-to-date numerical coastal modelling techniques from world-leading modellers and collaborate with them and their students on a number of topics/issues; (2) strengthen existing and develop new international collaborations with coastal numerical modellers and coral reef experts; (3) carry out research in a coral reef island environment to enhance field expertise; and (4) produce a number of tangible outputs and impacts.

In addition to the direct benefits associated with the research visits for PI Masselink and his research group, the following tangible outputs of the visits are anticipated:

* A full-length paper submitted to a high-impact journal on the coral reef island morphodynamic modelling. This paper is likely to be co-authored by most of the research visit hosts.

* A short letter/commentary submitted to Nature/Science arguing the importance of morphodynamic modelling to evaluate the long-term future of coral reef islands.

* One large grant proposal submitted to NERC defined around the topic of morphodynamic response of coral reef islands to SLR involving at least one of the research visit hosts as external partner.

* One standard research grant submitted to EPSRC focussing on modelling coastal flood risk, including the morphodynamics. This proposal is also likely to involve at least one of the research visit hosts as external partner.

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Organisation Website: http://www.plym.ac.uk