Understanding geological evolution of chalk cliffs and coastal processes using InSAR

Started: October 2017

Supervisor: Dr James Lawrence and Dr Richard Ghail

Description of Research

Coastal cliffed environments are constantly under siege from littoral zone processes in this dynamic setting; the hazards associated with cliff instability and collapse represent real social and economic risks to the communities utilising these areas. The predicted impact of climate change will only increase the risks so understanding the coastal processing driving cliff instability can help coastal engineers establish how, when and where cliff collapses will occur. This project will focus on investigation and understanding how InSAR can be used to monitor processes affecting the coastal zone which ultimately lead to chalk cliff collapse. Using Differential Interferometric SAR (DInSAR), from the new Sentinel-1 satellites, the objective of this study is to apply these techniques to chalk coastal cliffs and the broader coastal zone to better understand the coastal processes thus determining past, current and future deformation rates and the mechanisms leading to cliff collapse.