A4 - Long-term sediment transport measurement and modelling

A - Resource and Environment Characterisation

Status - published
Last updated on: 26/03/2020


Ocean sediments can be mobile, affecting offshore structures, cables and habitat. The motion of sands and other sediments and the possibility of scour must be predicted, as well as environmental harm minimised.


Reliable multiscale methods - which work at region and farm scale, as well as local to structures - are needed to predict changes in bathymetry, sediments and habitat, validated by field surveys.

Context And Need

The mobility of the seabed through sediment transport can affect offshore renewable energy (ORE) facilities. Scour management is often required around seabed structures and sediment transport can also affect cable integrity. In shallow estuaries, the change in flow from tidal energy facilities can create sediment morphological change. These sediment transport phenomena can affect the function of ORE systems and can also impact on habitat and ecosystems. A better understanding of these processes, through accurate models validated by field observations, will help to ensure that sediment transport processes associated with ORE systems do not cause adverse effects to those systems or the environment.


Morphological change in tidal races, tidal estuaries and the open ocean is not well understood, hampering exploitation resources. If the changes to water flow, sediment and habitat can be predicted, confidence in design and social acceptability will be raised.

Impact Potential

Habitat directive is currently an effective barrier to EIA consenting in estuaries. Unlocking significant resource and consequent social and environmental benefits.

Benthic change management and augmentation.

Reducing wind farm asset OPEX through reduced sediment related cable damage.

(social) Tourism risk due to lagoons changes from Sandy to Muddy beaches quantified.

Access/use of estuaries for other purposes (economic/social).

Other potential areas of interest: climate change, civil engineering, coastal protection

Research Status


Links to Industry Priorities:



We would also like to invite UK researchers and industry stakeholders within ORE to submit links to research projects, both past and present, for inclusion within the landscape.

Therefore, if you have a UK-based research project within an area of ORE that you feel is relevant to a specific research theme or challenge within the Research Landscape, click HERE to submit your research project to the research landscape


Return to homepage