Issue: 52 | June 2018

After several years of trials and comparisons, Adur & Worthing BC and New Forest DC have invested in UAV technology, which is likely to be seen increasingly along our frontage. Dan Amos describes below how their training is coming along, with the expectation that surveys will start in earnest later this summer.  As this exciting new technology starts to come on stream, I am delighted to introduce Dr Charlotte Thompson as the new director of the Channel Coastal Observatory, following my imminent retirement.  Charlie is an experienced research scientist, specialising in sediment dynamics; I wish her and all our partners and colleagues well, with confidence that the coastal monitoring programme will continue to flourish for many years.
Travis Mason – Regional Co-ordinator
Asset Survey Update
The Channel Coastal Observatory has been conducting laser scan surveys of some of the key coastal defence assets across the region, focusing on the seawalls and rock revetments. Assets are scanned at a high resolution (point spacing of 0.1m) along with geo-referenced RGB photographs of the seaward facing extent of the assets.  So far, completed surveys include the whole Swanage seafront, Preston Beach to Bowleaze Cove and Avon Beach (Christchurch) along with many smaller areas on the Isle of Wight and in Bournemouth and the surrounding area.
Asset surveys are ongoing at Sandown, Lepe Country Park and Seaview on the Isle of Wight, and should be completed by the end of the summer.
Asset survey at Swanage
Asset survey at Totland
Quality-controlled wave, tide and met data for SANDS
A recent update of SANDS 8.0.6 has included a revised CCO Import function for waves, tides and met data.  During the import process, the data quality flags are applied so that any flagged parameters are replaced with “9999”, equivalent to missing data.  Previously, if data were imported via the “CCO Format” import route, the flags were not applied and users had to subsequently conduct their own quality control.  The alternative route for importing data was via the “SANDS format” version, but only a limited range of parameters was imported.
It is recommended that SANDS users who use wave, tide and met data from the regional coastal monitoring programmes consider re-importing data so that the quality flags are applied.  A quick route for this is: 
  • From the website’s real-time pages, choose a wave buoy, then click the “QC data” tab
  • Select all the boxes  and click the “Download all Selected” box to download the annual files
  • SANDS ==> File Import/Export data ==> Import CCO Format Data ==> CCO Wave Data
  • Click the Location, Add Files ==> Import All
  • Existing data will be over-written and the flags applied
The SANDS 8.0.6 update is available for registered users to download from  We much appreciate this modification, which will be very useful for our SANDS users.
Adur and Worthing BC Update

Worthing Borough Council’s Coastal Survey Team is still plugging away with their UAV training, with a number of training sessions behind us and some more coming up. We have finished our professional training now with the suppliers, so after a few outings on our own to ensure the workflow is up to scratch and fit for purpose, we should be able to take the final steps to gain CAA permissions for commercial work. After this, the sky is no longer the limit!
We have also recently started using a new program ‘FME’ from Safe software to make our workflow even more efficient. FME is a data translation and manipulation tool that can accept and convert hundreds of different geospatial file types. Programmes are coded, but in a much more graphical environment using a flowchart type interface. This makes it incredibly easy to create, change and update programs. Initial results look very promising and we think that almost every aspect of the data handling/management side of our work could be done in FME. We all received some basic training recently and will continue to explore how it can be used.
Other one off projects that have kept us busy includes some static laser scans, including the underside of the Worthing Lido.
Bimodal seas around the English coastline
A sea state is typically composed of either wind-sea, swell-sea or a combination of the two. Wind-seas are generated by local winds, while swell-seas ordinarily have been generated in a distant storm and dispersed out of the generating area. A combination of sea and swell can produce bimodal sea conditions. The long periods of the swell lead to longer run-up and potentially overtopping of sea defences.
A spreadsheet providing monthly percentages of bimodal sea conditions measured at each of the Regional Coastal Monitoring Programmes’ wave buoy sites has been made available on the Resources page of the website: 

The Bimodal Resource also presents a number of maps showing summary statistics on different time scales and a technical note which explains the method for deriving statistics for bimodal seas and an assessment of their occurrence around the English coastline.

Those wishing to calculate their own statistics can download raw spectral files (*.spt) directly from the website’s real-time data pages.
Geobag Trial - Deal

A novel geobag trial is starting next week with the creation of two temporary groynes. The groynes will be located at Wellington Parade, which runs between Kingsdown and Walmer, in East Kent.  The frontage consists of a large shingle beach which forms the main defence against flooding and erosion to the properties behind.

There is a known erosion problem just north of the Kingsdown timber groyne field, with the beach crest cutting back to within 5m of the road on occasions. At present, these erosion losses are mitigated by ad-hoc beach recycling activities with material recycled from further north at Walmer back to Wellington Parade.

The groynes will be monitored over a 12 month period, checking for movement, damage and beach behaviour. The area will be given a full topographic survey every month, including a laser scan of the geobag groynes themselves, with a corresponding survey report. The trial is intended to fulfil the following two objectives:

1. Monitor the effect of the groynes on sediment movement in order to test the effectiveness of the proposed locations for permanent rock groynes
2. Contribute to existing research on the suitability of geobags for temporary groyne construction
New tide gauge/wave measurement at Hastings Pier

A Rosemount WaveRadar Rex has been installed on Hastings Pier, providing real-time tide and wave measurements on the website. Tide predictions and quality-controlled data will be available to download when more data has been collected.

The information provided by the instrument will be of considerable value for coastal management along Pevensey and Rye Bay.
Photo courtesy of Fugro GB Marine Limited
Meteorological reports available from the website

For several of the weather stations, met reports are now available on the reports page:

The reports provide a range of useful annual and monthly summary statistics, an analysis of the five strongest gales of the year and the site records since the instrument was deployed. They also provide several graphs including the average monthly air temperature and wind speed (including long-term averages) as shown in the example below.
Topographic data from Anglian Region now available on website
Anglian Regional Coastal Monitoring Programme topographic data is now being loaded to the website.  Furthermore, following a lengthy but ultimately worthwhile process of re-formatting the earlier data (pre-2017) undertaken by Anglian and the CCO, historic beach profiles dating back to 1991 are now also freely available for download from the Map Viewer/Data Catalogue, adding some 67,000 individual profiles to the archive.
Southeast Regional Coastal Monitoring Programme
Area Representatives

Isle of Grain to Beachy Head 
Claire French, Canterbury City Council, 
01227 862 537

Beachy Head to Selsey Bill    
Dan Amos, Adur & Worthing Councils, 
01903 221376
Selsey Bill to Portland Bill
Stuart McVey, New Forest District Council, 
02380 598641

Channel Coastal Observatory 
02380 598467
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Channel Coastal Observatory · National Oceanography Centre · European Way · Southampton, Hampshire SO14 3ZH · United Kingdom

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