29 Projects, page 1 of 6
In recent years there has been growing concern about the impact of diffuse source pollution on river, estuarine and coastal water quality and particularly with regard to non-compliance of bathing waters. Climate change, and particularly more intense storms in the bathing season, has led to increased compliance failure of bathing waters, e.g. last summer saw widely publicised beach failure occurrences at Amroth and Rhyl. Hydro-environmental impact assessment modelling studies, regularly undertaken by specialist consulting environmental companies, are generally regarded as having two fundamental shortcomings in model simulations, which can lead to erromneous environmental impact assessment outcomes. These shortcomings will be addressed in this project and include: (i) improving the computational linking of catchment, river and estuarine-coastal models to ensure momentum and mass conservation across the link boundary, and (ii) improving the kinetic decay process representation in deterministic models, to include the impact of salinity, irradiance, turbidity and suspended sediment levels. The main aim of this research project will therefore be to develop and validate linked hydro-environmental deterministic models to predict improved fluxes and concentration levels of faecal bacterial from catchment to coast, using dynamic decay rates related to a range of primary variables. This main objective will be achieved by: (i) setting up linked catchment, river and estuary-coastal models to predict flow and solute transport processes from Cloud to Coast; (ii) linking these models through an Open MI system and refining the link to include momentum conservation; (iii) extending the Cardiff Research Centre's Severn and Ribble river basin models to include catchments, (iv) developing and testing the Severn model against scaled laboratory model data for conservative tracer measurements, obtained using an idealised catchment-river-estuary physical model at Cardiff University, (v) undertaking a detailed analysis of earlier field studies (undertaken by the main supervisor and Professor David Kay, Aberystwyth) on the impact of turbidity and sediment adsorption on bacterial levels in the Severn estuary, with the aim of developing new formulations linking bacterial concentration levels with: salinity, irradiance, turbidity and suspended sediment), (vi) including the new formulations for bacterial decay (in the form of T90 values) in the linked models for river and estuary-coastal systems and to investigate the sensitivity of the receiving water concentration levels to these parameters, and (vii) studying briefly the effects of various renewable energy structures in the Severn estuary (including the Severn Barrage) on the receiving water faecal bacterial levels, particularly in terms of establishing the impact of the new linking methodology and the dynamic decay rates on the predicted concentration levels. The outcomes from this study will be published in journal and conference papers and presented in talks and lectures on the Centre's activities relating to marine renewable energy and particularly for the Severn estuary.
Sea level rise is now acknowledged as a real threat to our coastal towns and cities. In addition, global climate changes may lead to increasing frequency and severity of storms. As a result the value of the UK's assets at risk from flooding by the sea have significantly increased. The current UK coastal flood defences, which have typically been designed to withstand storm events with a return period of 50-100 years, may now be inadequate to protect the coastal areas under threat. To improve the design of future coastal defences requires a better understanding of the linkages between atmosphere, ocean and seabed; as well as improved quantification of the inherent uncertainties in the predictions. This joint research proposal between the Universities of Plymouth, Bristol and Liverpool, aims to develop a robust and integrated 'Cloud-to-Coast' modelling framework which will include the complex interactions between atmosphere, ocean and coastal flood and erosion, so that the flood risk in the coastal areas from the extreme events, such as severe storms, can be accurately predicted and assessed. The project will use various existing proven computer programmes together with necessary further developments to provide information on meteorological conditions under severe storms, the associated surge and wave conditions, as well as detailed transformation of wind and waves from the offshore to areas close to shoreline in order to predict coastal flood and erosion due to wave overtopping and scour. The main work of the project includes: 1) integration of the large-scale high-resolution weather models for predicting the atmospheric pressure and wind field, the regional and local scale process models for wave transformation from offshore to nearshore, and the local coastal models for predicting wave overtopping and scour near the coastal defence structures; 2) validation of the integrated modelling system with extensive field datasets; and 3) application of the modelling system to investigate uncertainties by creating ensembles of possible future storm events. The major output of the project will be a well-developed and validated modelling system which can be used as a useful tool for coastal engineers and coastal zone managers to assess the possible flood risk in coastal areas.
The problem of hydraulic resistance in wall-bounded flows remains among the hottest research topics in theoretical and applied fluid mechanics in spite of also being one of the most long-standing hydraulic problems. Researchers continue exploring a wide variety of empirical and conceptual approaches to resolve this problem, particularly focusing on the parameterisation of the bed friction that controls water levels, flood inundation extent, flow rates, depths, and water velocities. The approach currently used for quantifying bed friction is mostly empirical and thus should be considered the weakest component of otherwise quite sophisticated design and modelling methodologies. Despite world-wide efforts to advance capabilities for prediction and control of water levels in free surface flows, especially during flood events, hydraulic engineers still use empirical or semi-empirical relationships for 'roughness' or 'friction' factors. These resistance coefficients subsume the combined effects of complex hydrodynamic processes in simple forms making them convenient for practical applications. There is a general agreement that these resistance coefficients depend on parameters of the flow, bed material, bed and channel forms, and in-stream and bank vegetation. Although the quantitative form of this dependence has been targeted by several generations of hydraulicians, available relationships linking the resistance coefficients to flow and roughness parameters are still largely empirical rather than theoretically justified. As a result, the level of uncertainties of hydraulic models of overland flows, canals, waterways, rivers, and estuaries remains high, often exceeding 20-40%. The central goal of the project is therefore to develop advanced predictive capabilities for quantification of hydraulic resistance in rough-bed open-channel flows and propose a methodology for incorporation of the theoretical and physical insights from this study into applied hydraulic models that are most relevant to the end-users. To achieve this goal, the project team will build a rigorous theoretical framework to explicitly reveal contributions to the total bed friction from viscous, turbulent, and form-induced stresses, secondary currents, non-uniformity, and unsteadiness, and link these contributions to the physics of the flow. This theoretical analysis will underpin sophisticated laboratory experiments in Aberdeen and Large Eddy Simulation numerical studies in Cardiff to clarify the nature of bed friction in open-channel flows, refine the definitions of the roughness regimes, and identify and quantify the contributions to the overall friction from the dominant friction-generated mechanisms. The combination of the theoretical analysis with laboratory and numerical studies will lead to the generalised relationships for the friction coefficients suitable for applied hydraulic models. The examples of benefits that the proposed research will bring include significantly reduced uncertainties in predictions of water levels and flood inundation extent; better urban planning and new design philosophies based on friction control/reduction aptitudes that this research intends to develop (e.g., 'friction-reduced' urban planning as part of 'green cities' concept and more efficient drainage systems); and improved stream restoration design and implementation, among many others. The theoretical and methodological developments of the project will be also applicable, in addition to water engineering, to other areas such as aerospace and mechanical engineering, where drag control studies are particularly important and continue to grow. The interdisciplinary fields of overland flow and soil erosion, biomimetics, and ecosystems (both terrestrial and aquatic), represent other examples where the outcomes of this project can be directly employed.
Availability of knowledge of the processes, dynamics, landforms and materials of the physical landscape is vital for sustainable environmental management and for development projects, risk reduction, resource use, and future planning under scenarios of climate change. It is essential for ecological conservation and biodiversity strategies and for conservation of our landscape heritage in Britain and Northern Ireland (NI). This proposal is for the foundation stage of an ambitious project to establish an interactive website which will make existing research knowledge of the physical landscape of Britain readily accessible to end-users. It will see the development of the "Physical Landscape of Britain" website (landscapebritain.org.uk), targeted at professional end-users, which include engineering consulting companies, government agencies concerned with environmental management and conservation, and major landowners and landscape managers. The major end-user partners involved in this proposal, representative of these spheres, are: Mouchel and Halcrow companies; Natural England, The Environment Agency; and The National Trust. Geomorphology is the science that analyses how physical processes, act on the Earth's surface to create landforms and landscapes. This project is promoted by the British Society for Geomorphology (BSG) on behalf of the geomorphological research community in Britain. Much research output is not readily available to potential end-users and there is a lack of awareness of potential benefits of this knowledge. This project is designed to overcome those deficiencies. The foundation phase will build on a pilot study to develop a spatial database of information, create a digital bibliography and produce an interactive website that provides lists and a digest of existing relevant published data. This database will be searchable both textually and spatially through a web map interface. This application is for funding to enable the crucial stage of design of the website interface and database to be completed, for a usable website to be populated with information for selected major parts of Britain, and for the facility to be made available to all potential end-users. End-user partners will provide guidance on what kind of information they require, how they use the information and what are the existing gaps in knowledge and thus help to design a valuable resource, and also eventually to set the future research agenda relevant to society's needs. The project will have feedback to the academic community in increasing their awareness of the key issues and challenges being faced by end-users in environmental management and thus for academics to see how their research could help. This project will provide essential evidence for evidence-based Government policy-making and will increase effectiveness of public services and design of appropriate policy and practices by enhancing availability of knowledge of landscape processes and materials, of past changes and environmental change impacts, and occurrence of hazards as inputs to sustainable environmental management and conservation. Economic benefits will arise from reducing desk study costs and increasing awareness of geomorphological and ground conditions affecting development, as well as more effective planning of infrastructure in relation to natural hazards and likely future environmental changes. Ecological conservation requires geodiversity and the maintenance of the physical habits so geomorphology is an essential component of ecological management. The landscape heritage and enjoyment of landscape are important for a high quality of life and health so knowledge of process and evolution of landscape are fundamental to aiding interpretation and fulfilling those needs. This project aims to provide access to information, data and knowledge on the geomorphology of the British landscape to professional end-users to enable them to deliver these benefits.
Design is located between the crafts of making and the experiences of using. Digital models currently isolate the designer in the closed digital world, taking attention away from these important connections. A new mode of design is necessary in the UK construction industry for it to sustain its competitiveness and address major 21st century issues such as climate change. Engineering research is often focused on tools, either those to add increasingly detailed data to a finite set of building components; or those to encode algorithms for simulating processes and behaviours. Yet Dr Whyte found that the introduction of integrated models on major projects and programmes has not improved effectiveness, but has instead had unintended and negative consequences. In some instances these include generating too much data; making work progress harder to track and displaying designs in ways that make them look reliable before they have been fully tested. There is a need to transform the research field by focusing on effective visualization of design data in both digital and physical design environments.Rapid developments in visual interfaces, largely driven by the gaming and entertainment industries, provide an opportunity to develop more intuitive interfaces, taking 3D digital models out of the 2D screen and making them visible within physical design environments. The aspiration is to make digital models central to the conversation between engineers, manufacturers, fabricators, assemblers, clients and users. There is the potential to sit around a model; to walk around it together; to overlay and interrogate multiple environmental simulations and to compare and contrast design intent with scanned as-built models. The proposed Design Innovation Research Centre (DIRC) will develop new ways of visualizing data for shared design inquiry. The team will scientifically study design activities; and develop novel engineering solutions. DIRC's scientific study team will capture best-practice on major international projects. DIRC's engineering solutions team will create new tools and processes for design innovation. As an open and networked laboratory, the Centre will be the hub of intellectual activity, spanning across disciplines with a virtual and physical presence and nodes in both university and industry. Through inter-disciplinary research and its strong connections with industry, DIRC will be able to react quickly, will operate at the forefront of the research area and will add value by developing skills that are needed within academia and industry. Challenging Engineering funding enables the applicant to bring together and develop a multidisciplinary team of researchers (from engineering, design, ICT, building science and management) to address the challenges of design in the digital economy. The Centre will extend Dr Whyte's trajectory of work, recognizes the importance of shared 3D visualization in decision-making and the need for flexible solutions that do not lock designers into particular approaches too early in the design process. It will thrive through strong research and through deep engagement with industrial partners and associate members. At the end of the Challenging Engineering funding period the Centre will be an internationally-excellent, sustainable, and actively-disseminating, centre of excellence in the UK for 21st century design innovation.