National Network of Regional Coastal Monitoring Programmes


Although the Regional Coastal Monitoring Programmes do not carry out academic research per se, the field data collected, archived and made freely available via the website are eminently suitable for research projects at a range of levels, from undergraduate dissertations to PhD research.  Shown in the tables below are examples of where the data have been used in previous research, together with suggestions of locations suitable for similar projects.  Potential new topics are also suggested, which can be studied at any level, as appropriate. Included in both tables are the main data types which can be employed. 


Please notify us of any use of Regional Monitoring data in this or any other University research so that we can update the table; it also helps us to assess the wider use of the data, and aids the case for maintaining this freely-accessible data archive.



Potential locations

Previous study





Beach steepening

Topographic and bathymetric data, sediment sampling


Effects of replenishment on beach slope

Naomi Philp



Use of ARGUS cameras for coastal monitoring

ARGUS imagery, wave data

Milford-on-Sea, Slapton Sands





Saltmarsh accretion

Digitized bog hole channel positions (extracted from aerial photography), salt marsh extent 2005-2007, met data

Marshside, Southport

A study into the accretion of the salt marsh and the possible effects of sea level rise

Matt Hesketh



Vegetation and tourist pressure

CRV aerial photography 1945, 1961, 1979,1989, 2005

Sefton Coast

Evolution of vegetation in response to increasing tourist pressure

Elizabeth Hughes



Changing beach levels

Annual beach topographic data 2001– 2007, aerial photography 2000, GPS position of Gormley Statues

Crosby beach

Investigation into the changing beach levels at Crosby since the introduction of the Antony Gormley Statues in 2005

Sarah Banks

Edge Hill


Sea level rise and sand dune erosion

Lidar data


Investigation into the possible effects of sea level rise and erosion of the dunes (Formby Point)

Daniel Clegg

Edge Hill


Dune blowout development

Aerial photography 1945–2005, lidar data 2008


Investigation into the development of Devils Hole blowout south of Formby Point

David Elgar

Edge Hill


Sand dune morphology

Aerial photographs, beach survey data, topographic data


Druridge Bay

Helen Scott



Coastal stability

Beach survey data, topographic data, vertical recession point data


Coastal stability along the northeast coast, in particular along Cayton Bay

Matt Wearmouth



Beach nourishment

Beach survey data


An assessment of the natural responses of beaches to the practise of beach nourishment

Jonny Webborn



Mixed crustacean fisheries Sea surface temperature data from Waverider buoys
  Design and field trials of escape gaps for a mixed crustacean fishery in the Southern IFCA area Vicki Gravestock Southampton 2013
Wind induced residual current velocities Meteorological Data St Ives Bay Quantifying wind-induced, residual current velocities during strong meteorological forcing Joshua Bratchley Plymouth 2013
Subsidence and habitat change CASI data County Durham Influence of mining-induced subsidence on coastal erosion and habitat change in NE England James Cox Durham 2014
Geohazards Cell 1 aerial photography Dorset, Isle of Wight An evaluation into the overall stability of the southern Scarborough Slopes, and the liklihood of a large scale landslide occurring Kieran Gunn University of Portsmouth 2015
Coastal Management
Dawlish wave buoy
Dawlish, Devon Coastal Management: A GIS based approach involving the winter storms of 2014 at Dawlish, Devon Gwilym O'Donovan
Swansea University
Sediment budget topographic data
Cresswell beach, Northumberland
Implications of sand mining on Cresswell beach's sediment budget
Conor Davison
Edge Hill University


Geomorphological change

Topographic data, ortho-photography and lidar

Pagham Spit, Spurn Peninsula (see below)

An investigation into geomorphological changes occurring at East Head Spit, West Sussex between 2005 and 2009

Emma White



Equilibrium beach profile

Topographic and bathymetric data


An investigation of the equilibrium profile concept for a strongly barred beach, Bournemouth

Stuart Williams



Performance of beach recharge schemes

Topographic data, lidar

Lee-on-Solent, West Bay, Lyme Regis

Performance of a beach recharge scheme: Preston Beach, Weymouth

Robert Webbon



One-line beach modelling

Topographic data


Application of the one-line model Genesis to simulate the planform shoreline change on the South Western coastline of Hayling Island UK

Stephen Cundy



Change in storminess

Time series of measured wave parameters in central English Channel

Herne Bay

A spatial and temporal comparison of storm wave climates on the south-central English coast

Edward Shackleton



Habitat change and prediction

Ortho-photography, lidar


Identifying inter-tidal habitat creation sites in Poole Harbour

Andrew Jeffery



The change in level and distribution of saltmarsh and mudflats on Southampton Water

Elizabeth Williams

Southampton (MRes)


An examination of the feasibility of using historical aerial photography within a GIS to map mudflat evolution in the northern Solent

Thomas Mortlock



Present and future flood risk

Lidar, ortho-photography

Fal, Taw/Torridge estuaries

Study of climate change impacts using GIS and lidar

Nick Cramp



Cliff recession


East Riding of Yorkshire (see below)

Coastal evolution of the chalk cliffs of Beachy Head, East Sussex

Jane Cridford

Southampton (MGeol)


Geotechnical investigation of cliff stability

Cliff surveys, aerial photography (+ rainfall, piezometer and inclinometer data from NFDC)


A study of the reactivation of landsliding at Barton-on-Sea, Hampshire, following stabilisation works in the 1960's

Phil Garvey




2D and 3D behaviour of a shingle barrier beach

Baseline survey data, post-storm surveys, lidar, wave parameters and ARGUS

Westward Ho!


Slapton Sands

Amaia Ruiz de Alegria Arzaburu



Estuarine sediment budgets Aerial photography, habitat mapping   The impact of changing sediment budgets on an industrialised estuary: a case study of Southampton, UK Elizabeth Hopley Southampton 2014

Influence of structures on soft cliff erosion

Topographic data, lidar


Soft cliff retreat adjacent to coastal defences, with particular reference to Holderness and Christchurch Bay, UK

Sally Brown



Comparison of wave predictions of new UK Waters model with measured

Wave parameters, wave spectra

Bideford Bay

Central English Channel

Tamzin Palmer



Comparing landslide mechanism in glacial till

Aerial photography, GIS layers

Upgang beach Whitby


Sassiwimol Nawawitphisit

Durham University


Coastal geography

Asset and coastal slope condition analysis data, vertical recession point data




Rachel Gibson



Coastal change and coastal management

Beach survey data, topographic data, vertical recession point data

North East coast



Durham University


Other suggested projects



Potential Location


Cliff recession

Historical cliff line records, ortho-photography

East Riding of Yorkshire

Historical data available from East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Influence of structures on cliff recession rates

Topographic data, lidar, ortho-photography

East Riding of Yorkshire

Historical data available from East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Use of lidar and aerial photos to monitor beach behaviour

Topographic data, lidar, ortho rectified aerial photos

East Riding of Yorkshire

Historical data available from East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Historical data available from East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Use of lidar and GPS to monitor cliff erosion rates

Cliff line data, ortho rectified photography

East Riding of Yorkshire

2D and 3D behavior of eroding coastlines

Historical cliff line records, topographic data, lidar, ortho rectified aerial photos

Erosion of clay beach platforms

Historical topographic data, lidar, ortho rectified aerial photos

Beach behavior and evolution of sand peninsula 

Historical records, topographic data, lidar, ortho rectified aerial photos

Spurn Peninsula, Pagham Spit (West Sussex)

Historical data for Spurn available from East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Social and political aspects of eroding coastlines

Historical records, cliff mapping

East Riding of Yorkshire

Historical data available from East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Defending frontages on eroding coastlines

Historical records, topographic data, lidar, ortho rectified aerial photos

Surface characteristics from lidar intensity data

Lidar point cloud data (delivery from 2010), habitat monitoring data

Marsh areas (vegetation), beach areas (sediment type/size)

Historical point cloud data available from Environment Agency (Southern Region)

Algorithm for cliff edge extraction from lidar point clouds

Lidar point cloud data (delivery from 2010), ortho-photography

Sloping/complex cliffs, vertical cliffs e.g. Isle of Wight

Joint wave/tide return period

Co-located wave buoy and tide gauge data

Sandown Bay, Newhaven, Herne Bay, West Bay

Max. 14 years data

Comparison of actual joint wave/tide return period data with that used in scheme design

Data from before, scheme designs



Comparison of run-up formula with measurements

Literature review plus post storm surveys

Seaford, Hurst Spit, Slapton Sands

Open coast beach with no structures and co-located wave data

Tide harmonic modelling

Tide data from new site on north Cornwall site

Port Isaac

At present, tides are predicted based on Milford Haven

Sediment transport pathways and dune evolution behind a managed beach

Beach surveys, aerial photography, wave data, lidar, historic lidar

Uphil, Weston-Super-Mare to Sand Bay

Some fieldwork required also (sediment sampling and sieving)