Dr Christopher Unsworth

Research Officer in Coastal Oceanography

Contact info



Contact Info


Contact Info



Hello! I’m Chris and I research how sediments (like sand) moves around and changes the shape of the Earth’s surface. To do this I’ve used the full spectrum of techniques; lab, field and numerical modelling, to investigate the fascinating interplay between flows - sediment movement and bedforms.

Currently I’m working on the SEACAMS-2 project with Martin Austin and Katrien Van Landeghem, we are focused on leveraging Bangor’s unique expertise in measuring and understanding turbulence and sediment transport for the renewable energy sector.

Recently I have been working on intertidal sediment transport in Morecambe bay, one of the few hyper-tidal sand flats in the world, and we have managed to get one of the first complete datasets measuring both bedform transport, suspended sediment transport, along with the hydrodynamics driving this sediment motion – this has created new knowledge of how sediment gets transported in this environment.

I have experience of using a variety of flow and sediment transport measurement equipment, including a wide range of acoustic instrumentation (SBES, ADCP, ADV, ADVP, Multi-Frequency Acoustic backscatter probes and Depth Sounders), light-based based instrumentation (PIV, LISST, IR cameras), and geo-location with dGPS systems. I have a wide range of experience in post processing the above instrumentation, as well as multibeam echosounder (MBES) data, commonly using high level codes such as MATLAB and python, with ArcGIS and Global-Mapper to process geo-spatial and image data and plot for presentations and publications. I use a mix of Adobe Illustrator and InkScape to produce professional-standard figures suitable for publications and presentations.

I undertook 4 field seasons as the lead field PDRA on the South Saskatchewan River in Canada, which has given me practical working experience in designing, planning and implementing field campaigns, often unsupervised > 10 hours. This fieldwork included measuring the flow structure and suspended sediment dynamics using a small launch with an aDcp, ABS and a LISST to quantify the flow-morphology-sediment transport interactions. This field dataset has been used to set the boundary conditions and validate my own and my collaborators modelling on the project.

My PhD thesis involved work the NERC project; http://www.bedform.co.uk/ and more recently as PDRA on http://www.sandyriverdynamics.co.uk/ and the BlueCOAST project (https://projects.noc.ac.uk/bluecoast/).

Research areas and keywords


  • G Geography (General)
  • GB Physical geography
  • GC Oceanography
  • QC Physics
  • TC Hydraulic engineering. Ocean engineering

Education / academic qualifications

  • PhD , River Dunes in Unsteady Conditions (2011 - 2015)
  • MSc , MRes in Catchment Dynamics and Management (2010 - 2011)
  • BSc , JH Geology and Geography (2007 - 2010)

Research outputs (5)

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