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PhD Studentship: Appraising Erosion Management Strategies on the North-Norfolk Coastline to 2300: Projections, Implications, and Visualisation

University of East Anglia - School of Environmental Sciences

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Norwich
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: Competition Funded Project (Home and International)
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 23rd October 2023
Closes: 10th January 2024
Reference: NICHOLLS_UENV24ARIES

This PhD assesses the interplay between coastal erosion, coastal management strategies and sea-level rise over the long-term (to 2300) using ensemble simulations within an integrated assessment systemic approach. The research focusses on understanding the potential evolutionary trajectories of the North Norfolk coast from Blakeney to Winterton Ness and their implications for coastal management. This is an exemplar site of this problem nationally and globally. The research builds upon the Tyndall Coastal Simulator which analysed evolving coastal hazards along the North Norfolk coastline to 2100. The Simulator linked a range of simulation tools, datasets and scenarios to examine future trajectories of coastal evolution. These results also informed the current coastal strategy for the North Norfolk coast. Subsequently, there have been notable developments in sea-level rise projections (extending to 2300 and capturing uncertainty), computing power and visualisation tools3. There is also policy interest in coastal adaptation pathways, especially coastal adaptation transitions, and recognition of the long timescale of the problem as sea level will continue to rise well beyond 2100. 

The existing Tyndall Coastal Simulator integrated approach will be updated and extended to 2300, including the following components:

  • Extend and improve the climate change scenarios,
  • Develop new management scenarios that describe the full range of potential options,
  • Develop suitable appraisal methods building on state-of-the-art practise,
  • Simulate future trends in coastal erosion and tidal flooding across the full range of scenarios, using ensemble methods to capture uncertainty,
  • Analyse and interpret their implications for coastal management and coastal land use in Norfolk in the short-term, medium- and long-term up to 2300,
  • Create an accessible web-based database to summarize and communicate these results and insights for wider use,
  • Consider the wider transferable lessons.

Training will comprise

  • Integrated assessment methods
  • Appraisal and economic assessment
  • Numerical models (e.g., SCAPE2)
  • Programming

Person specification

A degree/international equivalent in a subject focussed on the built environment or natural processes (e.g. Civil engineering, environmental science, etc.)

Desirable skills/experience include: 

  • Coastal processes and management
  • Appraisal and economic hazard assessment,
  • Numerical modelling
  • Programming
  • Data visualisation
  • GIS

This project has been shortlisted for funding by the ARIES NERC DTP.

Successful candidates who meet UKRI’s eligibility criteria will be awarded a NERC studentship, which covers fees, stipend (£18,622 p.a. for 2023/24) and research funding. International applicants are eligible for fully-funded ARIES studentships including fees. Please note however that ARIES funding does not cover additional costs associated with relocation to, and living in, the UK.

Excellent applicants from quantitative disciplines with limited experience in environmental sciences may be considered for an additional 3-month stipend to take advanced-level courses.

ARIES is committed to equality, diversity, widening participation and inclusion in all areas of its operation. We encourage enquiries and applications from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation and transgender status. Academic qualifications are considered alongside significant relevant non-academic experience.

For further information, please visit www.aries-dtp.ac.uk

Primary supervisor: Professor Robert Nicholls

Start date: October 2024

For more information on this project, please visit https://www.uea.ac.uk/search/courses/

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