Beach monitoring

The Coastal Monitoring team is funded externally by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) as part of the Strategic Regional Coastal Monitoring Programme, started in 2002.  It's primary aim is to provide a repeatable and cost effective method of monitoring the coastline between the Isle of Grain on the North Kent coast and the Bristol Channel. 

The project provides essential information for coastal managers. Issues such as climate change and provision of sea defences that are sustainable in the long term are reliant on good quality data. Long-term data sets are needed to deliver these benefits. Nevertheless, there are many short-term gains already arising from the programme. These include data for coastal scheme designs, and savings arising from collaborative working.

The programme involves a number of monitoring methods, including:

  • topographic beach surveys (cross sections/plan views of the beaches)
  • hydrodynamic data collection (waves and tides)

All data collected by the monitoring programme is managed and archived at the Channel Coast Observatory in Southampton. Online data is available at the Channel Coast website