CMAR - Coastal Marine Applied Research: Services

CMAR provides commercial research-informed consultancy services focusing on coastal processes and marine physics. We offer a suite of services utilising our niche expertise and highly trained staff, and can draw upon a wide range of field equipment, numerical models, and processing software to address important issues in the coastal and marine environment. We also have equipment available for hire.

Expert knowledge

Expert knowledge, interpretation and application of relevant coastal science to support, inform, review or actively lead any coastal projects. Every project involves close input from senior academics and consultants at the university, to ensure the latest and most appropriate science is considered. Past projects have included a review of coastal flood mapping methods for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), a think-piece on coastal resilience for the UK Environment Agency (EA), expert witness reports for a number of beach incident cases, and beach hazard assessments for a number of UK beaches.

Quantification of beach risk in the UK and ROI

Real-time coastal flood forecast model

Numerical modelling

Numerical modelling of hydro- and morpho-dynamics over a range of time scales, including wave modelling (SWAN, MIKE21), hydrodynamics (DELFT3D), coastal response (XBeach, XBeach-G, GENESIS), and long-term coastal change (SHORFOR). Past projects have included modelling wave shadowing from a potential wave farm in Ireland (SWAN), modelling of coastal flooding under different wave scenarios and gravel beach profiles at Chiswell beach (XBeach-G), modelling the hydro- and morpho-dynamic effects of a rock jetty on a beach (XBeach), and generation of a real-time coastal flood warning system for South West England (Delft3D).


Field data collection

Deployment of coastal equipment for measuring coastal water levels, waves, tides, currents and sediment transport processes using a wide range of devices, including GPS drifter tracking of nearshore currents, remote and in-situ sensing of beach profile change, hydro- and morpho-dynamic observations during storm events, and offshore deployment of directional wave buoys. We have developed an international reputation for capturing in-situ data under some of the most extreme coastal conditions, and have successfully completed field deployments all over the UK, in New Zealand, France, and in Africa. In addition to our core roster of equipment, our rapid coastal response unit is equipped to measure hydro- and morpho-dynamics with only a short mobilization window, such as during extreme storm events, and can deploy with only a few days notice of the developing conditions.


Measuring hydrodynamics and sediment transport under energetic conditions

Lagrangian drifter data collected for numerical model validation

Model calibration and validation

Collection, processing, and interpretation of in-situ field data for the specific purpose of numerical model calibration and validation. We are highly experienced in collecting field data under any coastal conditions, from calm estuarine environments to extreme storms, and our field data have been used for the validation of hydrodynamic models and morphological models, for both consultancy reports and scientific research.


Oceanic measurements

Deployment of oceanographic equipment for measuring stratification, ocean mixing, seabed mobility, and ocean currents using a wide range of devices, including offshore deployment of Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler. These data are often used as forcing or calibration/validation data for numerical modelling projects, and have also been used for the purpose of marine renewables resource characterisation.


Deployment of an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler rig

Millimeter accuracy surveying of a rocky platform with a Total Station

Coastal surveying 

Collection of morphological data, including RTK-GPS surveys, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) drone surveys, single- and multi-beam bathymetric surveys, terrestrial LiDAR scans, and hydrographic survey involving side-scan sonar and sub-bottom profiler. We have more than 10 years of experience collecting topographic and bathymetric data in the coastal zone, and monitor two sites in southwest England on a monthly basis. We have conducted coastal surveys at sites featuring gravel and sandy beaches, rocky platforms, and nearshore bathymetry at the coast.


Data analysis

Analysis of hydrodynamic, morphological, and oceanographic data using a variety of software, including GIS (spatial data), Matlab (large data sets), Fledermaus/QINSy (multibeam data), and Cyclone (point cloud data analysis), to name a few. Past projects have included analyses methods such as cluster analysis, statistical modelling, time series analysis, spectral analysis, Bayesian networks, spatial mapping, and structure-from-motion. In all cases the most appropriate analysis methods for the project are applied, and we can draw on the analysis experience of a large number of academics.


Real-time data analysis during storm-chasing fieldwork

Dr Tim Scott presenting on his rip current research

Specialist training

Specialist training in coastal processes, field data collection, numerical modelling, and analysis methodologies. We have previously delivered bespoke training courses for NGO's and alike, including numerical modelling courses using XBeach and XBeach-G, and general coastal geomorphology training. We can tailor theory, modelling, or fieldwork courses to suite your training requirements, and deliver them using highly experienced academics and consultants.