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Title: Spatiotemporal morphodynamics of a recently modified beach system, Aberdeen, UK
Author: Taylor, Amy Margaret
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2015
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The prediction of morphological responses of natural and engineered beaches to the prevailing wave, tide and wind conditions continues to be a challenge due to the wide variability in site conditions and the underlying complexities of the processes involved. For this reason, field measurements, especially with a good spatial and temporal resolution, play a critical role in monitoring the performance of intervention work. This thesis presents the results of a five-year study at Aberdeen beach on the North Sea coast of the UK, with the aim of obtaining and analysing high-quality field measurements of beach dynamics before and following beach nourishment and the installation of nearshore breakwaters. Beach topographic data were collected between June 2006 and July 2011 at approximately monthly intervals using real time kinematic GPS, augmented by Argus video monitoring. An assessment of the horizontal and vertical errors of the Argus system found it to be comparable to other similar installations. The initial response of the area of beach subject to recent intervention works was the formation of stable bays in the lee of the nearshore structures, making this zone morphologically distinct from other areas of the beach. Time-synchronous wave data was collected from nearshore wave buoy measurements, or derived from transformed Met Office model-predicted wave data, and were considered in relation to the timing of beach morphology responses to the prevailing wave conditions. A strong link was observed between the 30-day average wave height and the beach dynamic, with erosion commencing when Hm0 rose above 1 m, and antecedence being an important factor in beach response to successive winter storm events. The data and insights from the present study can be used to develop better predictive models and coastal monitoring strategies. Future studies seeking to further understand beach response would benefit from the ability to capture variation within tidal cycles, and to be able to connect the beach to wider nearshore and offshore bedforms and marine processes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) ; Aberdeen City Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Beaches ; Beach erosion ; Shore protection ; Ocean waves