Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Coastline erosion due to rise in sea level greater than previously thought

According to researchers of the Institute for Water Education (UNESCO-IHE), the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) and the Deltares institute, the effects of coastline erosion as a result of sea-level rise in the vicinity of inlets, such as river estuaries, have until now been dramatically underestimated. Things are a even  more complicated when it comes to coastlines in the vicinity of inlets, such as river mouths, lagoons and estuaries. These places are affected by other factors, such as changes in rainfall due to climate change, and certain compensating effects (basin infilling). Until now, science has lacked a model that takes all these effects into account in the calculations of a coastline's future development. Now Scientist Rosh Ranasinghe, associate professor at UNESCO-IHE and TU Delft, has succeeded in developing a new model that is able to produce much more accurate prognoses. He did so together with researchers of the Water Engineering Department of UNESCO-IHE, faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences at TU Delft and knowledge institution Deltares. With the model, it is possible to make accurate predictions quickly – within a few minutes – of how the coastline will develop in the vicinity of inlets as a result of rising sea-levels.


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