Coastal landscapes and ecosystems provide ecosystem services including coastal protection, recycling of nutrients, fish nursery habitat, source of energy and nutrient for aquatic communities, timber, and carbon sequestration. Globally 44% of people live within the coastal zone and expanding population and economic development place significant pressure on coastal landscapes. Sea-level rise is projected to accelerate, placing even greater pressure on coastal landscapes, particularly in developing countries where livelihoods are closely associated with coastal landscapes and their ecosystem services. There remains a need to understand the response of coastal landscapes to climate change and sea-level rise to facilitate appropriate and coastal adaptation that is sensitive to UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The project will assist government parties with the application of radiometric and isotopic techniques to ascertain coastal vulnerability and resilience. Establishing vulnerability and resilience relies upon identifying relationships between sediment supply to shorelines and climatic variables, such as sea-level rise, established through analysis of sedimentary records. Analyses of rates of sediment supply may be restricted by the spatial and temporal sensitivity of analytical techniques. This project integrates nuclear techniques including sediment dating (210Pb, 137Cs and 7Be) techniques that have varying temporal sensitivity and application to coastal sediments. Rates of sediment supply derived from radiometric dating techniques are complemented with stable isotope analyses to determine sediment sources, statistical analyses to determine relationships between sediment supply and position within coastal landscapes, and modelling to facilitate projection of the response of coastal landscapes to future climate scenarios.
Supporting techniques such as remote sensing, surface elevation tables and optically simulated luminescence dating will be discussed. This project will be facilitated by the integration of information from national projects and by improving technical skills will assist Government Parties to identify adaptation options that will improve shoreline resilience and the delivery of ecosystem services.