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Hazard resource dependency and social resilience

The research in this sub-group addresses the interface between the human use of the landscape and its ecosystems on the one hand, and the ecological and physical processes that operate to sustain that landscape and ecosystem on the other hand. From the conservation of biodiversity at the global scale to the conservation of specific habitats at the local scale, humans are intricately connected with their bio-physical environment, both influencing and being affected by its characteristics and its dynamism. An understanding of this connection is essential in a world in which the geographically uneven human use of natural resources is becoming an increasing challenge.

Tom Spencer, Mike Bithell, David Rose, Jamie Pollard, Tom Pryke, Rachel Seary, Oliver Taherzadeh, Iris Möller.

Research projects

Research projects currently being undertaken on this theme include:

EU RISC-KIT

EU RISC-KIT

EU RISC-KIT [Resilience-Increasing Strategies for Coasts - toolKIT] is a major EU-funded research project which will deliver ready-to-use methods, tools and management approaches to reduce risk and increase resilience to low-frequency, high-impact hydro-meteorological events on European coasts.

FAST: Foreshore Assessment using Space Technology

FAST: Foreshore Assessment using Space Technology

Marine foreshores are currently not included in water safety assessments and in levee design. River floodplains are only managed to maximize river discharge capacity. However, foreshores and floodplains deliver several services, such as increasing sedimentation, reducing erosion and attenuating waves that mitigate flood risk by improving levee stability and lifetime. Including foreshores and floodplains in levee design and safety assessments can result in considerable cost reductions for flood risk management. The FAST (Foreshore Assessment using Space Technology) project aims to develop a new GMES/Copernicus downstream service by developing products based on Sentinel data to gain spatial information on foreshore and floodplain characteristics, such as morphology, sediment characteristics and vegetation properties.

North Sea storm surges

North Sea storm surges

Storm surges in the southern North Sea pose a complex, persistent and perhaps growing threat to the surrounding coastline of NW Europe. Within a broader project looking at 'Coastal Settlements at Risk', research has focussed on the uncertainties associated with numerical modelling of extreme coastal flooding.

Wave dynamics over saltmarsh surfaces

Wave dynamics over saltmarsh surfaces

Coastal marshes constitute a delicately balanced system between hydrodynamic forcing on the one hand and ecological, sedimentological, and morphological responses on the other. Equally, however, the marsh surface itself exerts an influence on tidal currents and incident waves. The aim of this research is to quantify changes in significant wave heights and total spectral energy across densely vegetated macro-tidal saltmarshes of different morphological characteristics.