The vision of a new North Wales coast to harness power, protect the shoreline and boost tourism

Just imagine a major wall off the North Wales coast stretching from Llandudno, out to sea and then back to land near Prestatyn: sailing dinghies and wind surfers enjoying the calm waters within, thriving tourism, and support industries and local communities alleviated from the threat of coastal flooding.

This is the vision of North Wales Tidal Energy & Coastal Protection Co. Ltd (NWTE) in their large-scale tidal impoundment programme for the North Wales coast.

The scheme would be one of Wales’ and the UK’s largest infrastructure projects, providing predictable generation of clean renewable electricity, coastal flood protection and economic regeneration.

Professor John Reynolds, Managing Director of Reynolds International Ltd. and one of the directors of NWTE will be discussing one aspect of this ambitious project – the seabed dynamics – in a keynote presentation at an international conference organised by Bangor University’s School of Ocean Sciences in conjunction with the French Naval Hydrographic and Oceanographic Office (SHOM).

Professor Reynolds explains:

“The conceptual model for this major project must be based upon sound engineering science. North Wales is excellently suited for this tidal impoundment scheme as it displays one of the highest tidal ranges of the UK coastline. Especially in the early stages of project concept development, however, the underpinning technical challenges associated with the mobile seabed should not be overlooked. This conference on marine and river dune dynamics brings together the relevant expertise to help gain a science-led understanding of the way sediments would move around a tidal impoundment.”

Conference organiser Dr Katrien Van Landeghem of Bangor University’s School of Ocean Sciences adds:

“This conference brings together speakers from Europe, USA, China and South Korea, to discuss our current understanding of dunes that form underwater. This knowledge is derived from cross-disciplinary research using field observations, modelling studies and laboratory experiments. Being able to better predict how sediments move on the beds of rivers and oceans will be vital in the management of these environments under the influence of humans activity.”

This conference, “Marine and River Dune Dynamics” takes place in Galeri Caernarfon on the 4th and 5th of April 2016. During Professor Reynolds’ presentation, Bangor University’s School of Ocean Sciences staff will demonstrate their remote sensing equipment by making a 3D image of the lecture theatre using a laser scanner. Similar state-of the art techniques are used to generate topographic images of changing river beds and seabeds. 

Publication date: 4 April 2016