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Fears that the area of land known as East Head is eroding have prompted the National Trust, English Nature, and Chichester Harbour Conservancy to commission a study which will provide a better understanding of the processes which govern the changing morphology of the 140-acre sand dune complex at the entrance to Chichester Harbour. ABP Research & Consultancy (ABP Research) is co-ordinating this ground-breaking study into the causes of erosion at East Head, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC), providing Chichester harbour with a natural sea defence.

The study is being carried out by a consortium of three leading research and consultancy companies ABP Research, Hydraulics Research Wallingford (HR Wallingford) and Geosea . Results of work currently being carried out will be reviewed by a number of established experts in coastal science from academic, engineering and conservation backgrounds, to assist in the development of the sustainable long-term management policy for East Head. We are delighted with the high level of expertise of everyone involved in this highly significant project.


It has been extremely satisfying to see so many experts in their fields working australia seo together. A field survey campaign, comprising detailed bathymetric* studies as well as the collection of sediment samples, was completed in March 2000. The sediment samples will be analysed to establish the directions of sediment transport in the area. This work will be augmented by a detailed numerical modelling study, currently being carried out by HR Wallingford, aimed at illustrating the movement of sediment in response to waves and tides.

These two elements will then be combined with the results from an analysis of historical changes at East Head, to establish an overall understanding of the geomorphological*, sedimentological* and hydrodynamic* regime of the area. Further investigations will explore the likelihood of a breach* forming at East Head and the effects of such a feature on the surrounding area.

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