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Students tackle coastal erosion

15 April 2005
 


Sea defences on the Wyre Coast.

Lancaster University is using coloured pebbles to get a better understanding of erosion of the Lancashire coast.Students from Lancaster University’s Geography department are working with Wyre Borough Council to find out more about how sediment moves on the Wyre coast and how effective existing sea defences are at preventing erosion.

Coloured metal pebbles, floats and environmentally friendly dyes are being added to seawater to monitor currents and sediment movement to gain a better understanding of how the beach interacts with existing structures.

The tests, carried out by students Catherine White and Kirsty Minnis under the supervision of Coastal Engineering staff at Wyre Borough Council, Dr Suzana Ilic and Andy Quin from Lancaster University Geography department, began on Tuesday, July 26.

Students will work on a section of beach from Fleetwood to Cleveleys. They will pay particular attention to the usefulness and efficiency of existing sea defences known as groynes. Groynes are low walls built out from the coast into the sea to prevent the movement of sand, shale and pebbles along the shore. Wyre Borough Council plans to make a series of improvements to existing sea defences. This local study will generate new data that will help the council to make informed choices about the future protection of the coast.