A device for measuring downwearing rates on cohesive shore platforms



The device described in this paper, known as the traversing erosion beam, is believed to be the first to be designed specifically for measuring rates of downwearing of cohesive foreshores, such as clay shore platforms, under high-energy wave conditions. It is primarily constructed of Flexlink Aluminium Structural System components and consists of a horizontal beam with a main leg and two further support legs. A sliding ‘dolly’ module is moved along the beam at precise intervals using a longitudinal scale as a reference. The topographic profile of the measurement surface is transferred to the dolly by a vertical sliding steel alloy rod, from which the relative height differences are measured by a separate engineer's digital height gauge placed on the dolly. The main leg of the device fits into a marine grade stainless steel box, which is deeply embedded into the foreshore or shore platform to act a permanent datum. The box is robust and can be expected to have a lifetime of at least a year, and possibly even five years or more.

Sample data are provided from a clay shore platform at Warden Point in the Isle of Sheppey, Kent (UK), which demonstrate that the TEB can provide information on seasonal as well as annual rates of downwearing. The device has also been tested successfully on a peat and clay foreshore at Pett Level in Sussex and on a shore platform cut in glacial till at Easington, Yorkshire. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.