Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs) in the UK are currently at a key stage with most now being updated for the first time. These SMPs need to be technically robust, integrating flood risk and coastal erosion in the context of climate change, spatial planning, habitat protection and the need for stakeholder engagement. The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, in partnership with the Environment Agency, is developing a coastal simulator that addresses these complex questions. The simulator provides information on the possible future states of the coast under a range of climate and socio-economic futures and shoreline management options. Currently, it is mainly focused on cell 3 (East Anglia) and sub-cell 3b, in particular, but the method is designed to be generic. The approach is based on a series of linked models within a nested framework which recognises three spatial scales: (1) global; (2) regional (e.g. North Sea); and (3) the simulator domain (a physiographic unit such as sub-cell 3b). The linked models describe climate (waves, surges and mean sea level), sand bank morphodynamics, wave transformation, shoreline morphodynamics, the evolving built environment, ecosystem change, and erosion and flood risk, while shoreline management scenarios are developed with relevant stakeholders. The simulator includes a dedicated user interface which allows a wide range of queries, making the results available in the preparation of SMPs. The initial results demonstrate important linkages for shoreline management, such as the interaction between erosion management and flood risk within a sub-cell. Delivering improved shoreline management raises important social and political issues which the Tyndall Centre is also addressing.
- coastal simulator, shoreline management, regional assessment