Coastal Geomorphology

Our Research

CCRG works across a wide range of topics related to coastal geomorphological processes, particularly those related to the response of the fine-sediment coastal ecosystems, such as tidal mudflat, saltmarsh, mangroves and seagrass meadows, to natural, climatic and human pressures arising from Global Change

Global coastal wetlands and sea level rise 

Coastal wetlands such as saltmarsh and mangroves are considered as vulnerable ecosystems with regards to climate change and global sea level rise. Estimates of future losses of coastal wetlands due to sea-level rise reach up to 80% until 2100.  

CCRG members are working on the European Union funded REST-COAST project with 37 other partners. The overarching project aim is to investigate to what extent can upscaled coastal restoration provide low carbon adaption to rising sea levels and can it reduce risks and produce biodiversity gains for vulnerable coastal ecosystems like wetlands and seagrass beds? The members of CCRG are helping answer these questions focusing on modelling current global intertidal wetland extent and projections for the extent in the future under growing social and climatic pressures. 

Impact of storms and sea level rise on local coastal wetlands 

CCRG member are working with local partner to monitor the long-term development of saltmarshes in the Lincolnshire coasts. Surface-Elevation Table, a measurement technique that allow for the long-term monitoring of surface elevation changes are maintained and monitored in the marshes of the Gibraltar Point and the Saltfleetby-Theddlethorphe National Nature Reserves. The data collected as part of this effort will help CCRG to understand the impact of long-term sea level rise and extreme storm events on the morphological development of these valuable saltmarshes. 

Reconstruction of past coastal environments 

Members of the CCRG are working on coastal ecosystems along the Lincolnshire coastal (e.g. Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve and Saltfleetby-Theddlethorpe National Nature Reserve) in the UK to study the past habitat developments and associated changes to habitat diversity and carbon sequestration over time. This research specifically aims to provide an evidence base for sustainably manage these valuable coastal ecosystems. 

Coastal environments and anthropogenic pollutants 

Members of the CCRG, including our PhD student Gertuda Zieniute, are working at the Freiston Shore managed realignment in the Wash, UK investigating geochemical changes and microplastics accumulation over the last twenty years.