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The origin and evolution of offshore sand banks

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  • Full or part time
    Dr S Neill
    Dr Peter Robins
    Dr M Lewis
    Dr N Mitchell
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Offshore sand banks are a strategic source of sediment for the construction industry, and due to their role in wave refraction and breaking they are important for protecting coastal communities from the impact of storm waves. Recent multibeam surveys of these systems have the potential to provide an unprecedented level of understanding of sand bank dynamics. However, since these sand banks have evolved into their present configuration over thousands of years, it is not known whether their evolution is a response to relatively high frequency moderate sized events (e.g. spring tidal currents) or as a result of low frequency more extreme events (e.g. storms).

In this project, you will use high resolution multibeam datasets to set up state-of-the-art wave/tide/sediment models of two contrasting sand bank systems: one in a region which has a history of dredging, and another which has evolved solely as a response to natural processes.

The modelling system will be applied to time slices of bathymetry over the recent geological past to simulate how the sand banks have evolved over time, and whether there are key time slices in the past when sand banks have changed mode from wave to tidally dominated systems, or vice-versa. You will quantify the influence of recent dredging activities in relation to the natural variability of the system, and investigate possible future impacts of marine renewable energy extraction in relation to natural variability of the sand banks, and the impacts of sea-level rise to nearshore wave climate and coastal flooding.

You will gain extensive experience in spatial and time series analysis of large complex in situ datasets, learn how to use such data to setup and parameterize numerical models, and gain extensive experience in running state-of-the-art coupled oceanographic models on supercomputers to examine the impacts of individual (storm) events, and evolution over seasonal and decadal time scales. This PhD will equip you with exceptional analytical and computational skills, combing high performance computing skills with rich complex multiple variable datasets to provide insight into temporal variability of shelf-sea dynamics, with applications to coastal flood risk, climate modelling methodologies, oceanography, marine renewable energy, fisheries, and sediment dynamics.

For further details and to apply please contact Dr Simon Neill in the School of Ocean Sciences, Bangor University [Email Address Removed]


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