Many visitors clamber along with hammers in hand determined to chip their souvenirs out of the cliff face but they potentially do untold damage to the World Heritage Site.
Over the coming months, experts from Bournemouth University’s Environmental and Geographical Sciences Group will use a sophisticated laser scanning technique to monitor this form of erosion to see just how much damage – if any – is caused by the human fossil hunters.
Funded by the Jurassic Coast Team and Natural England, the BU project is led by Andy Ford, a lecturer in Geoinformatics in the University’s School of Conservation Sciences. Ford and his colleagues have already taken ‘baseline’ scans at incredibly high resolution of the cliffs along the coast near Charmouth in Dorset prior to the influx of summer visitors. The process will be repeated at the end of the summer and again next spring to compare any changes in the terrain to help determine whether people or nature may be causing the most damage.
"Using our new state-of-the-art laser we're able to automatically scan the entire cliff face at a resolution of centimetres over hundreds of square metres,” Ford explains. “What's more, once we tell the scanner where it is and what we want it to do it takes over and scans a section of the cliff, robot fashion, in comfortably under an hour. Back in the office, we stitch the sections together to make a very detailed virtual model of the entire cliff. It even takes its own pictures and pastes them over the model. The results are something to behold."
Potential fossil hunters to the Jurassic Coast this summer should also be on the look-out for a new fossil warden who will patrol the beaches at Charmouth to deter people from chipping away at the cliffs. Stuart Godman is part of the Dorset County Council’s Countryside Service. His role is to steer people away from the cliffs and back onto the beach where a number of fossils can be found in the soft mud.
Charles Elder | alfa
Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel
Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
21.02.2018 | Life Sciences
21.02.2018 | Life Sciences
21.02.2018 | Materials Sciences