PhD: Modelling future flood risk for adaptation planning of coastal and inland flooding: a case study of the Broads

Project Description


Global mean sea levels rise due to climate change are expected to have a wide range impacts on coastal environments and infrastructure including coastal erosion, flooding, salinization, loss of habitats etc. Environmental effects are far reaching and will differ based on geophysical settings. Local evaluation of such consequences will be essential to protect valuable coastlines. The Broads is Britain's largest wetland and one of the most important in Europe for biodiversity and conservation. Highly vulnerable to climate change and sea level rise it is essential there is clear science on which to base vital decisions.


This project aims to (1) analyse flood risks in the Broads (2) investigate implications for salinity changes (3) understand stakeholder responses to scientific information for exploring adaptation options and decision making processes, and (4) make recommendations for integrated inland and coastal flood management policies.



Hydraulic and water quality modelling will be used to simulate future flood inundation risks and salinity changes. A case study area will be selected for detailed assessment of the flooding risks and salinity changes of several adaptation options. These results will be communicated to Broads stakeholders. Interviews and other appropriate social science methods will be used to investigate stakeholder perceptions of the validity of the modelling and any changes in their willingness to support different options.


Training and Development

This student will join the EnvEast NERC Doctoral Training Partnership cohort programme and the Tyndall Early Career Network. S/he will attend relevant academic modules such as Catchment Water Resources, Climate Change for Development and Participatory Environmental Decision Making. S/he will learn the use of hydrological and hydraulic models. S/he will spend at least 3 months each year at the Broads Authority for induction, training in communication and engagement, fieldwork, and stakeholder interviews.

Applications are invited from candidates who have, or expect to obtain, a good Honours degree in a relevant subject (e.g. Hydrology, Environmental Science, Civil Engineering). You must have demonstrable potential for creative and high-quality PhD research and relish problem-solving. An eagerness to develop cross-disciplinary skills in modelling of hydro-systems and social science in climate adaptation is essential.



Gray, S. R. J., et al. (2014) Are coastal managers detecting the problem? Assessing stakeholder perception of climate vulnerability using Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping. Ocean & Coastal Management, 94: 74–89.

Church, J. A., et al. (2008) Understanding global sea levels: Past, present and future. Sustainability Science 3(1): 9–22.

Hervouet, J.-M. (2000) TELEMAC modelling system: an overview. Hydrol. Process., 14: 2209–2210.

Hydrologic Engineering Center, US Army Corps of Engineers (2010) HEC-RAS. River Analysis System. User's Manual. Version 4.1.


Start date: October 2015

Programme: PhD

Mode of Study: Full Time


Read more and apply online.