Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

University of Ulster Researcher Explains Mystery of Newcastle’s Disappearing Beach

17.06.2004


Unusual happenings at Dundrum Bay, County Down, have been puzzling residents for some time now. Reports of the beach at Newcastle disappearing while sand dunes at Ballykinler, across the bay, were getting bigger and bigger, had locals and Down County Council stumped.



But researchers from the University of Ulster have stepped in to explain the mysterious phenomenon.

Dr Andrew Cooper and Dr Fatima Navas, from the Centre for Coastal and Marine Research at UU, have discovered that natural forces on the seabed are responsible for the previously unexplained changes.


“Local people noticed that the beach at Newcastle seemed to be disappearing while across the bay, at Ballykinler, sand dunes were becoming larger and more plentiful, said Dr Cooper.

“Using navigation charts from the 19th and 20th century we discovered a substantial build-up of sand off shore. Then, simulating waves moving across the seabed using a computer model, we noticed a marked change in how the waves approached the shoreline.

“In the mid- 19th century waves carried sand to both ends of the bay, sustaining beaches at Newcastle and Ballykinler but now, the change in wave movement means that the sand is being carried away from Newcastle and toward Ballykinler instead.

“The result is the obvious physical changes that local people have noticed on their coastline, healthy, growing sand dunes at Ballykinler but diminished volumes of sand at Newcastle. The sandy beach at Newcastle is really quite a thin veneer and a slight loss of sand exposes the underlying glacial pebbles. This has a dramatic effect on the appearance of the shoreline”.

The natural changes on the beaches of Dundrum Bay are not a cause for concern however, as Dr Cooper explains: “Ironically, there is plenty of sand in the system as a whole- the waves have simply moved it away from Newcastle under the present conditions.”

The study does present new, crucial information for coastal researchers all over the world however. It shows that the seafloor changed substantially enough over a 150-year period for it to alter the wave patterns and for them to cause changes in the shoreline over the same timescale.

“This is the first time this type of relationship has been identified and it could be very important for organisations concerned with planning for sea-level rise and coastal defences,” Dr Cooper added.

Dr Cooper’s and Dr Navas’s full report is published in the current issue of the leading international journal “Geology”.

David Young | University of Ulster
Further information:
http://www.ulster.ac.uk/news/releases/2004/1202.html

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Treating arthritis with algae

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Witnessing turbulent motion in the atmosphere of a distant star

23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>