HR Wallingford: Modelling Colwyn Bay’s New Beach Defense

Image source: HR Wallingford

Conwy County Borough Council recently hired HR Wallingford to conduct physical modelling of the Colwyn Bay’s new beach defenses.

“The Council wants to assure the longevity of the new beach, which has to date involved the placing of approximately 500,000m³ of dredged material, and has commissioned HR Wallingford to conduct physical modelling to estimate its future lifespan, taking into account the coastal storms that this area is exposed to,” HR Wallingford said in its latest release.

Image source: HR Wallingford

In a 35m x 50m wave basin in its modelling facilities in Oxfordshire, HR Wallingford’s coastal engineers have created a detailed physical model of a 1.6 mile (2.6km) section of Colwyn Bay at a scale of 1:50, from Rhos Jetty in Rhos on Sea, eastwards towards Beach Road, Old Colwyn.

A bank of 56 individual wave generators, with wave probes placed in the basin to measure the waves generated, is being used to simulate typical weather and storm conditions.

Tom Rigden, Senior Scientist, Coastal Structures at HR Wallingford, said: ”We’ve been working closely with Conwy Borough Council, and with Alan Williams from Coastal Engineering UK, and drawn on their experience of the site, which has enabled us to ensure the physical model accurately replicates the natural processes that Colwyn Bay is exposed to.”

According to the company, engineers are using the complex physical model to calculate the rate of loss of the beach-line, and give an estimate of the number of years it will take to erode, as well as advise on possible further protection measures if required.

Tests using the physical model will take several months, and are due to be completed at the end of March 2017.

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