Fluvial erosion and transport in coastal dune systems

DIT PhD Project / Doctoral Project
Supervisor name & contact details:
Dr Alan Gilmer
Supervisors Profile:
Research Centre (if applicable):
Environmental Sustainability & Health Institute
Research Centre website (if applicable):
Supervisors Publication List:
Title of the Project: Functional vegetation dynamics, substrate and eco-morphological relations
in the mediation of fluvial erosion and transport in coastal dune systems
Project Summary:
The project proposes to explore the links between ecology, erosion and the physical setting of
coastal dune systems. However, erosion processes are complex and it has proven difficult to
integrate the complexity of materials and mechanism in a general theory of hydrodynamics
(Hergerten & Neugebauer 1996). Although empirical models of hydrological dynamics and
erosion have been extensively used in land-use management they provide limited insight into the
underline causes and the nature of the systems being investigated. Addressing this requires the
adoption of a more process based modelling approach. Hence this work proposes to develop a
process based simulation of the dynamics in coastal dune systems under erosive influences. The
challenge here is to understand the very nature of the processes concerned and the dynamics of
their interactions. Thus it is proposed to explore the mechanisms and dynamics of dune systems
in the field through spatial-temporal analysis, substrate analysis and vegetation mapping. The
outcome of this will be a mechanistic based simulation of eco-hydromorphological dynamics in a
coastal dune system. Such process based models have the potential to offer more robust
predictions of spatially heterogenous environments in real world settings (Reiners & Driese
Please indicate the student requirements for this project:
Minimum 2.1 (life sciences, environmental science, environmental management, geography,
engineering or related disciplines considered)
Deadline to submit applications (only for funded projects)
Please choose College as appropriate
Arts & Tourism
Engineering & Built Environment
Science & Health