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Coastal defences – A solution or a problem?


An interesting article published today by Planet Earth Online discusses the possibility that coastal defences could prove to be a contributing factor to flooding. Researchers have undertaken a series of tests demonstrating sea levels with and without sea walls, Dr Holly Pelling of Bangor University comments; 

“We wanted to see how sea level rise would affect the tidal range- the difference between high water and low water - and to see if it would cause any potential changes in the time of high water and tidal velocities, we saw a small change in tides if no flooding was allowed, but we were surprised to find that we recorded the largest response when flood defences are implemented that allow only part of the coastline to flood.  The tide is basically a wave with a certain amount of energy and it dissipates energy as it travels.”

Results show that if no coastal defences were in place and the sea level was able to rise by up to one metre, it would cause little change in the tide, however, the tide dramatically changes if sea walls are implemented. For the full article, click here

This research reinforces the argument that flooding needs to be considered on a larger scale and not just “putting a plaster over a hole”. UKFB continue to spread the word for everyone to be prepared.

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