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SCOPAC Committee

Coastal Monitoring

The Southern Coastal Group (SCG)


Cllr Mrs M Penfold MBE, West Dorset District Council


Cllr Jackie Branson, Havant Borough Council


Technical assistance provided to Councillors by

Mr Neil Watson (Environment Agency) and

Dr Samantha Cope (SCOPAC Research Chair)





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Current Research

SurgeWatch: a user-friendly database of coastal flooding for the UK

SCOPAC Contaminated Land Study

Scanning of historical aerial photography

Beach response in front of structures in open coast

Poole Bay Nearshore Replenishment Trial

Reducing regional flood and erosion risk from wave action on the Channel Coast

Update of the SCOPAC Sediment Transport Study

Maintenance of coastal structures - Phase 1: Timber groynes

Completed Research

Bradbury’s Bursary: investigating the physical and geotechnical properties of the substrate in the lee of Hurst Spit

SCOPAC Sediment Transport Study update 2012

Offshore to onshore transport across distinct landforms at Church Norton Spit: Minor Funds Contribution 2015-2016

Coastal sediment budget project: Minor Funds Contribution 2013-2016

Seabed Mapping Selsey to Eastoke: Minor Funds Contribution 2013-2015

Sediment Tracer Study Phase II: Minor Funds Contribution 2011-2013

Non-standard Rock Groynes: Minor Funds Contribution 2011-2013

Sediment Tracer Study Phase I: Minor Funds Contribution 2010-2011

ACCESS Project 2011

Extreme Wave Conditions within the SCOPAC region 2008-2010

Strategic Regional Coastal Monitoring

RESPONSE European Project 2006-2009

RESPONSE European Project Maps

SCOPAC Sediment Transport Bibliographic Database (v6, 2012)

SCOPAC Sediment Transport Study 2004

Evolution of the Solent River animation

Evolution of Lyme Bay animation

Preparing for the Impacts of Climate Change 2001

1. Background

The following sets out the programme of works for the update of the web-based SCOPAC Sediment Transport Study (STS) (2004) in preparation for the third round of Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs), future Strategy Studies and Schemes.  

The study area spans the coastline between Start Point, Devon and Beachy Head, East Sussex and is broken down into 27 sediment sub-cell units (Figure 1).

Update of the Sediment Transport Study

Channel Coast Observatory - FDGiA £150,000 (2014-2016)

Figure 1:  SCOPAC STS (2004) extent and 27 sediment sub-cell units

In order to obtain the sediment transport information for an area, the web-user simply clicks on one of the 27 sediment sub-cell units, which presents a map (Figure 2 for example).

Figure 2:  Christchurch Bay sediment sub-cell

Each map illustrates sediment type, direction, volume, transport mechanism and reliability of information. The arrows on the map are interactive and when clicked, take the web-user through to the supporting information. The supporting information is based on a review of literature up to 2004.

The existing web-based SCOPAC Sediment Transport Study (STS) (2004) has proven to be a valuable resource, particularly for the five SMPs in the SCOPAC region. All the SMPs drew heavily on the STS outputs when undertaking the coastal processes literature review and baseline scenario assessments.  

Since the last revision of the SCOPAC STS, consistent and robust approaches to monitoring the shoreline have been implemented through the south-east and south-west Strategic Regional Coastal Monitoring Programmes [], which commenced in 2002 and 2006, respectively. The data collected provides a valuable resource for updating the SCOPAC STS (2004), offering a preview of coastal changes at a decadal scale for the Southern Coastal Group and South East Coastal Group. Coastal process changes since 2006 will be identified for the South West Coastal Group. These data sets will provide a major input to the update.

The SCOPAC funded Evolution of Coastal Sediment Stores and Sinks project (2014) will provide useful information on beach accretion using Regional Monitoring data and offshore sediment sinks, mapped from Admiralty charts. The two ongoing SCOPAC Minor Fund Projects will also provide new information on sediment transport in Poole and Christchurch Bays and the location of offshore sediment in the East Solent.  

In addition to the monitoring data, other recent academic, central government and local government research, collated through the SCOPAC funded Bibliographic Database update (2012) will provide new findings relating to coastal processes and sediment budgets.   

£150,000 has been awarded over a 3 year period and the update is due for completion in the financial year 2015/2016

2. Aims & Objectives

The key aim of the study is to satisfy the action plan recommendation in the North Solent, Isle of Wight and Poole and Christchurch Bays SMPs’ which highlighted the need for a region-wide sediment transport study to fill gaps and uncertainties identified through coastal processes review and SMP development. This will be achieved through the update of the SCOPAC Sediment Transport Study (2004).

The key objectives of the project are to:

The project will:

The update of the SCOPAC STS (2004) is broken down into the following key elements set out in Figure 3. Each element is discussed in the following sections.

Figure 3:  Study structure

3. Project management

Dr Samantha Cope from the Channel Coast Observatory is project managing the study, and the SCOPAC reasearch sub-group will form the steering group.

4. Data collection and analysis

Data collection and analysis is broken down into the following elements:

4.1  Analysis of Regional Monitoring data

4.1.1  Geomorphological analysis

Clare Wilkinson and Dr Samantha Cope from the Channel Coastal Observatory will undertake the geomorphological analysis.  

The geomorphological analysis will utilise the difference plots from the SCOPAC project, Evolution of Coastal Sediment Stores and Sinks (2014), in combination with cross-sectional area profile line changes from the Regional Coastal Monitoring Programme.

SCOPAC commissioned the Evolution of Coastal Sediment Stores and Sinks project (2014) at a cost of £25,000 to identify sediment accumulation on the beaches, ebb deltas and offshore, with a view to the sediment being used for future recycling events. The project was used as a contribution towards the update of the SCOPAC STS. The 10 year difference plots for the south-east and the 5 year difference plots for the south-west from the project will be analysed to identify direction of sediment transport. The difference plots in combination with the sediment recycling and replenishment logs will be utlilised in order to quantify the sediment budget for a unit. A similar approach to that applied in the South East Coast Beach Management Plan project (ongoing) will be trialled. The South East Coast Beach Management Plan project (ongoing) applied a modified version of the Rosati and Kraus (1999) equation. Application of the equation will be trialled in the East Solent and outputs compared with those from the South East Coast Beach Management Plan project.

4.1.2  Bathymetric analysis

Andrew Colenutt from the Channel Coastal Observatory is leading on the bathymetric analysis.

Cross-sectional area changes between earliest to most recent bathymetry surveys will identify erosion or accretion. The 1km profile lines are an extension of the beach profile lines at approximately 50m spacing. The 1km profile lines will be split into 500m sections to reflect any difference in cross-sectional area change along the profile.

In addition, swath bathymetry data will be analysed to identify the location of mobile sediment and the possible direction of offshore sediment movement.

The difference plots produced as part of the SCOPAC Evolution of Coastal Sediment Stores and Sinks project (2014) will also be utilised to show any large scale changes in sediment accretion or erosion of the offshore shoals.

4.1.3  Hydrodynamic analysis

Dr Travis Mason from the Channel Coastal Observatory is leading on the hydrodynamic analysis and will produce the following:

All wave data analysis will use measured data from the Regional Monitoring wave buoys. Analysis will complement the geomorphological analysis whereby a 10 year dataset will be analysed for the south-east and a 5 year dataset will be analysed for the south-west.

4.2  Literature Review

David Carter and Dr Samantha Cope will undertake the literature review.

The existing SCOPAC STS (2004) is based on literature identified through the previous SCOPAC Bibliographic Database (2002), which comprised some 5,000 references to relevant shoreline management reports and publications. As a contribution towards this current update of the STS, SCOPAC commissioned an update of the Bibliographic Database at a cost of £13,000, which was completed in 2012. A further 700 references were identified across the STS region and will be reviewed as follows (Table 1):




Start Point to Berry Head

Dave C


Berry Head to Hope's Nose (Torbay)

Dave C


Hope's Nose, Tobay to Holcombe

Dave C


Holcombe to Syraight Point

Dave C


Straight Point to Otterton Ledge

Dave C


Otterton Ledge to Beer Head

Dave C


Beer Head to Lyme Regis

Dave C


Lyme Regis to West Bay

Dave C


West Bay to Portland Bill

Dave C


Portland Bill and Weymouth Bay

Dave C


Purbeck: Redcliff Point to Durlston Head

Dave C


Durlston Head to Handfast Point (Swanage)

Dave C


Handfast Point to South Haven Point (Studland)

Dave C


Poole Harbour



Poole Bay



Hengistbury Head to Hurst Spit (Christchurch Bay)



Hurst Spit to Calshot



Southampton Water



R. Hamble to Portsmouth Harbour Entrance



Portsmouth, Langstone and Chichester Harbours



Portsmouth entrance to Chichester entrance



NW Isle of Wight (Needles to Old Castle Point)

Dave C


NE Isle of Wight (Old Castle Point to Culver Cliff)

Dave C


West, South and East Wight (Needles to Culver Cliff)

Dave C


East Head to Pagham



Pagham Beach Estate to R. Adur, Shoreham on Sea

Dave C


R. Adur, Shoreham on Sea to Beachy Head

Dave C

Table 1:  Organisation to review literature review

5. Interpretation of data and literature

Dr Samantha Cope is leading on this element of the work which will join the Regional Monitoring Programme analysis and the literature review discussed above. The existing text will be edited and updated where necessary, ensuring to maintain existing references.

6. External consultant and peer review

Two of the original authors from the University of Portsmouth, David Carter and Dr Malcolm Bray, will be involved with the update.

David Carter will undertake part of the literature review and Dr Malcolm Bray will review the outputs from the update of the STS.

The Southern Coastal Group and SCOPAC will be consulted on progress of the update.

7. Map production

Clare Wilkinson from the Channel Coastal Observatory is leading on the map production.

The original maps will be re-created in the GIS to produce shapefiles and layouts that can be amended.

8. External web delivery

Dr Samantha Cope and Clare Wilkinson will lead on web delivery.


1. Background

2. Aims & Objectives

3. Project management

4. Data collection and analysis

5. Interpretation of data and literature

6. External consultant and peer review

7. Map production

8. External web delivery

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