The sequence of recent storms along our coastlines has brought into focus the important role that geomorphologists must play in times of extreme events. Geomorphology is the scientific study of landforms and the processes that shape them. In recent months, coastal processes (wave energy, wind and tides) have changed (eroded) significant lengths of our coastal landscape, caused inland flooding affected national heritage sites and caused extreme hardship for several communities.
On February 8th 2014 over 30 geomorphologists came together for the first time to discuss several aspects of geomorphology, including these recent extreme events.
The President of the Irish Geomorphology Group (IGGy), Dr Mary Bourke, convened the workshop in TCD as an opportunity for like-minded geomorphologists from academic and non-academic backgrounds with a range of experience (undergraduate to Emeritus Professor) to present on their research.
The day started off with a short visual excursion into the deep sea, then presentations stretched from offshore exploration to meandering canyons in caves all the way to aeolian landforms with coastal dune-barriers, Mars and finally back to the recent storm impacts. Sediment transfer is of major interest in all of these areas. It is featured by the youtube channel GEOCOAST, an online educational resource about Ireland’s Coastal and Marine Geology, which was presented by Dr Kozachenko (University College Cork).
By the end of the day there was a stronger feeling of collegiality, agreement on the need for direct dissemination of our expertise to relevant agencies dealing with current crises and lots of ideas for new research collaborations.