Scientists to study impact of winter storms on Porthleven

Falmouth Packet: Scientists to study impact of winter storms on Porthleven Scientists to study impact of winter storms on Porthleven

Scientists will be investigating the impact of this winter’s storm on Porthleven thanks to a £50,000 grant.

Plymouth University scientists have been awarded the funding by the Natural Environmental Research Council (NERC) with Plymouth University's School of Marine Science and Engineering, the Met Office and the Plymouth Coastal Observatory taking part.

Researchers will investigate how the storms affected the beach and cliffs along the wave battered coastline, alongside 25 other sites around the South West, including Bude.

They will also consider underwater changes at the two sites in Cornwall and use a wave model devised by the Met Office to assess the potential impact of different climate scenarios.

It is hoped the project will enable coastal councils develop strategies to better cope with future storms. Professor Gerd Masselink, principal investigator at Plymouth University's rapid coastal response unit, said: “The coastal impact of this sequence of extreme Atlantic storms has been very significant.

“At several locations, prominent coastal landforms have disappeared, suggesting that at least some of the coastal changes will be permanent."

Professor Duncan Wingham, chief executive of the Natural Environmental Research Council, added: “The storms that hit the South West this past winter were some of the worst on record. And with recent simulations suggesting this coastline may become a region of intensified storm activity in future, it's fitting that NERC is funding this research.”

The £50,000 project, which is scheduled to run for one year, started on 1 March 2014.

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