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

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Impacts of mass coral die-off on Indian Ocean reefs revealed
21.02.2017 | University of Exeter

nachricht How much biomass grows in the savannah?
16.02.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Impacts of mass coral die-off on Indian Ocean reefs revealed

21.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Novel breast tomosynthesis technique reduces screening recall rate

21.02.2017 | Medical Engineering

Use your Voice – and Smart Homes will “LISTEN”

21.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>