Dynamic simulation and visualisation of coastal erosion

Iain Brown, Simon Jude, Sotiris Koukoulas, Robert Nicholls, Mark Dickson, Mike Walkden

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

    48 Citations (Scopus)


    A key requirement for effective coastal zone management is good knowledge and prediction of land erosion rates due to encroachment of the sea. However, in addition to demarcation of the hazard through modelling and mapping, a policy of risk mitigation necessitates significant attention should also be addressed to communicating the transient behaviour of the predictions and associated uncertainty. With climate change and sea level rise implying that historical rates of change may not be a reliable guide for the future, enhanced visualisation of the evolving coastline has the potential to improve awareness of this changing risk. This visual content is developed by linking scientific modelling with the transformation of digital elevation models, and then using GIS to integrate other spatiotemporal content. The resulting high-resolution visualisations may meet demands from decision-makers for tools to communicate scientific results more effectively, due to their realism and apparent authenticity. Nevertheless they can also produces a tension with the underlying scientific content because of the necessary extrapolation of extra detail, and the lack of established procedures to communicate the resulting uncertainty in the visualisation. Coastal managers also have concerns about releasing the visualisations to the general public. These issues are explored through analysis of future cliff erosion in Norfolk on the eastern coast of Great Britain.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages21
    Specialist publicationComputers, Environment and Urban Systems
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006


    • Cliff erosion
    • Climate change
    • Coastal management
    • GIS
    • Simulation
    • Visualisation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Geography, Planning and Development
    • Ecological Modelling
    • General Environmental Science
    • Urban Studies


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