Long-term effects of oil spills must be explored further, claim University academics
The Impact of Oil & Gas Drilling Accidents on EU Fisheries report by Dr David Green and Dr Cristina Gomez of the University of Aberdeen’s Institute for Coastal Science and Management (AICSM) provides for the first time a review of oil and gas related incidents and accidents in relation to fisheries in EU waters. [More Information & Download Report]

Announcing the SFC Innovation Voucher Scheme Project
David R. Green, Cristina Gomez, Frazer Christie, and Dominic Holdsworth

This is a scoping report to investigate the role of UAVs (Unmanned Airborne Vehicle - or UAS (Unmanned Airborne System) ) in oil and gas pipeline monitoring. The report will examine different airborne platforms, sensors, and their potential for monitoring above and below ground pipelines. This is one of many applications of these small platforms to remote sensing and geographical information systems. This project builds on earlier work using drones for precision viticulture and coastal monitoring. The output from this work will also form part of a new book on the environmental applications of UAVs due for publication (Taylor and Francis) in late 2015.

The Impacts of Climate Change on Integrated Coastal Management in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire
AICSM hosts 1/2 day workshop on The Impacts of Climate Change on Integrated Coastal Management in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. 9.30-14.00 - Tuesday 11th December 2012 - Meeting Room 1 - Sir Duncan Rice Library, University of Aberdeen. The workshop is hosted by the Level 3/4 Students taking the Integrated Coastal Management module in the Department of Geography and Environment, with invited delegates from amongst others: SNH, SEPA, Aberdeenshire Council, Aberdeen City Council, and the University of Aberdeen.

3 recent awards for AICSM

  • ‘Arctic Submarine landslides and Tsunami Risk to the UK’; NERC award is £33,354 which is  80% of the FEC cost of £41,692. Duration October 2012 – September 2015.
  • ‘Coastal Adaptation in Scotland’ ; Centre for Expertise on Waters (Scottish Government and MASTS), Award £5000. Duration January –April 2012.
  • ‘Coastal Adaptation and Flood Risk, South Uist and Benbecula’; Scottish Government and Comhairle nan Eilan Siar, Award £3800. Duration January –May 2012.

AICSM publish a paper with Andrew Cooper (University of Ulster) on barrier islands in the Scottish Outer Hebrides in GEOLOGY.
In the paper we describe for the first time a 90 km long barrier island system in the Scottish Outer Hebrides. The barrier island system is unique in resting on bedrock that has a profound influence on morphology of the barrier island chain and how it evolves during periods of relative marine transgression. It is argued that during periods of relative sea-level rise, barrier sediments are redistributed onshore and alongshore in a strongly three-dimensional manner, determined by topographic irregularities. The barrier islands represent an endpoint in transgressive barrier island geomorphology controlled by bedrock surfaces: they are at the upper end of the recognized tidal amplitude for barrier islands; the offshore wave regime is very high energy; they lack a shoreface; and neither ravinement surfaces nor transgressive sand sheets are developed.

Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW): Coastal Flooding in Scotland: a guidance document for coastal practitioners
This project aims to ensure the successful transfer of knowledge on the issues associated with coastal flooding, to key stakeholders. The collaborative work supports CREW’s aim to build networks which establish a delivery mechanism at the science, policy and practice interfaces. In addition, this work will form the basis for providing information and advice to the Scottish Government and partners for policy development and support. Knowledge Exchange (KE) such as this will underpin policy and operational needs for addressing the issues of coastal flooding. The main objective of this project is to synthesise the most up-to-date scientific knowledge and information relating to coastal flooding in Scotland in the form of a guidance document. The guidance document has been separated into various chapters relating to the existing science and research on climate change, sea level rise, coastal flooding, coastal erosion, flood defences and strategies for coastal adaptation.

AICSM is embarking on an exciting new research project on the risk to the UK coastlines posed by Arctic submarine landslides. The Aberdeen Coastal Institute is part of a large consortium, led by NOC Southampton, who will consider this problem in a project starting in October 2012 and ending in 2015. One of the most destructive tsunamis that the teams will consider is that caused by one of the world’s largest submarine slides, the Storegga Slide that took place on the continental slope west of Norway around 8000 years ago. Submarine slides have important climatic significance also with many considered  to take place as a result of warming of ocean water that destabilises methane gas compounds in ocean floor sediment. Yet the timing of the  Storegga submarine slide appears to have coincided with a period of exceptionally cold climate in Earth history.

AICSM have recently published a paper on  recent coastal changes in South Uist and Benbecula in the Scottish Outer Hebrides. The paper focuses on the South Ford area, the site of a tragedy in January 2005 when a highly-destructive storm was associated with the loss of life of a family of five. The work is the outcome of research collaboration between the University of Aberdeen (AICSM), the Universities of Dundee and St Andrews, JBA Consulting and Comhairle nan Eilan Siar (Western Isles Council).

The Journal of Coastal Research article pre-print has been published online.