The Challenge for Coastal Management During the Third Millennium

  • Richard J. DawsonEmail author
  • Robert J. Nicholls
  • Sophie A. Day (née Nicholson-Cole)
Part of the Advances in Global Change Research book series (AGLO, volume 49)


Coastal planners and managers face a wide range of challenges around the world during the twenty-first century. These include geomorphological, climatic, and socio-economic drivers of change, their interaction and the societal and governance issues that they raised. The interplay between these challenges motivated the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research’s Coastal Research Programme.

Assessing the impacts of multiple scale drivers and possible responses is problematic, yet failure to do so can limit the utility of the analysis – or lead to undesirable outcomes that are a consequence of thinking too narrowly about a problem. To define and analyse coastal problems in a comprehensive manner, an interdisciplinary team of researchers was assembled. Embracing natural, social and engineering sciences, this team engaged in the development of an integrated assessment, called the Tyndall Coastal Simulator, which was applied and demonstrated in East Anglia in the UK. However, the approach could be applied widely, as discussed at the end of the book.

The Tyndall Coastal Simulator provides a platform to integrate the diverse knowledge and methods developed as part of the integrated assessment process in a meaningful and accessible way. This chapter reviews the need for the Tyndall Coastal Simulator, outlines the main aims of the simulator work and defines its unique contribution to broadscale coastal simulation. It gives an overview of the integrated assessment structure, scenario framework and case study locations adopted in this work, especially North Norfolk. The study site was chosen as an exemplar of the challenges facing coastal stakeholders due to its long history of erosion and flooding and the fact that it is going through a major transition in coastal management strategy. Under this strategy, a number of currently protected clifftop communities will lose their defences causing widespread concern. Hence, this provides a good study site to develop transferable lessons on the analysis of coastal change and hazards, as well as the issue of managing transitions which will be essential under climate change.

This book builds upon, and significantly extends, work reported in an earlier paper by Dawson et al. (Climatic Change 95:249–288, 2009), included as an Appendix to this chapter, by providing a complete record of methods, results and analysis from the Tyndall Coastal Simulator as well as reflections on broadscale coastal simulation from British and International practitioners and researchers on this 10-year-research effort.


Integrated assessment Coastal change Shoreline management North Norfolk Tyndall Coastal Simulator 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard J. Dawson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Robert J. Nicholls
    • 2
  • Sophie A. Day (née Nicholson-Cole)
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change ResearchNewcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK
  2. 2.Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, Faculty of Engineering and the EnvironmentUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK

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