Environmental Sciences Research Institute
Examination of the supply of wind-blown sediment from beaches to coastal dunes is an important parameter in understanding the formational processes of many dune coastlines around the world. We undertake field studies into wind-blown (aeolian) sand dynamics on a number of spatial and temporal scales. High resolution sediment trapping methods are used to unravel the relationship between forcing factors and sediment bed response in natural beach-dune settings.
Investigations are focussed on effective fetch distance and its control on aeolian flux patterns, lee-side airflow dynamics at coastal foredunes and turbulence effects on sediment transport. A number of techniques are employed in this including use of electronic sediment traps, grain impact sensors, 3D acoustic anemometry and remote sensing. Our suite of instruments include 24 three-dimensional anemometers (50Hz, 3D Gill), 20 electronic sand traps (25 Hz), 18 Safire impact sensors (up to 200Hz), 17m instrument masts and an associated mobile data acquisition system, making it the largest field measurement set-up in Europe for aeolian field studies.
Recent findings have isolated the importance of offshore wind regimes and corresponding lee-side eddying in building up foredune morphology. As part of this we also use 3-D Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to model airflow over measured beach and dune terrain, validated by airflow and transport flux field data as a method to extend the spatial measurement range in natural settings. Recent research collaboration has involved Dr Andreas Baas (Kings College London); Dr Kevin Lynch (National University of Ireland, Galway); Dr Meiring Beyers (Klimaat, Canada); Dr Keiko Udo (Japan)
• Secondary airflow patterns under offshore winds over coastal foredunes: implications for aeolian sediment transport, £470K Standard NERC grant, 2008 - 2011.
• Post-storm beach recovery through aeolian and wave processes. Travel award, 2008 - 2009. Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation.
• Swash zone and aeolian sediment supply to beaches, Japan. Collaboration award. 2008 - 2009. The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation.
Further enquiries to Prof. Derek Jackson (firstname.lastname@example.org) & Prof. Andrew Cooper.