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USSHER Society conference 2020

At the beginning of January, Dr John Grimes and Matthew Owen attended the 59th Annual Ussher Society conference. The three-day conference for geoscientists with an interest in South-west England and related areas, included a field excursion day and two days of presentations. Dr Grimes delivered a presentation on Coastal instability in South West England – Triggers, Controls and Mechanisms.

Abstract of the Coastal Instability in South West England Lecture: 

The winters of 2012 to 2014 were some of the wettest winters on record with the winter of 2012 being the longest sustained period of wet weather for 254 years of recorded weather records.  Gales generated large and ferocious storm waves that impacted the cliffs of Cornwall. Both the hydrostatic pressures generated largely by the exceptional rainfall and pneumatic pressures induced into the fissured/fractured rock mass by the impacting waves triggered large scale and numerous cliff failures around the coast of Cornwall and Devon.

In conclusion, storm wave impact and induced massive associated pneumatic pressures and their significance in relationship to sea level rise, cliff instability and coastal erosion were discussed.

The talk was well received and generated much interest in an area of Coastal Engineering, that although critical has often been misunderstood. The importance of understanding and clarifying the triggers, controls and mechanisms impacting the stability of our coasts is becoming ever more important, particularly as the climate continues to change.

JGP consider that it is important to disseminate this information to the Engineering community so that they are in the position to advise and inform as necessary to appropriately engineer coastal works into the future. If you would be interested in JGP presenting this lecture to your organisation, then please email post@johngrimes.co.uk

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Ussher society, you can find out more information on their website.