Dr Martin Austin

Senior Lecturer in Ocean Sciences

Contact info

Office: 211 Marine Centre Wales     Phone: 01248 382803

Email: m.austin@bangor.ac.uk

Web: Google Scholar     ResearchGate     ORCID

Twitter: @mart_austin

I am an observational oceanographer and specialise in the hydro- and morpho-dynamics of the inter-tidal and shallow sub-tidal regions of the coastal ocean. My present research at Bangor includes:

  • The turbulent flow dynamics around sub-sea cables that causes seabed scour and subsequent cable failure. This ESPRC-funded research works in collaboration with three industry partners from the Marine Renewable Energy sector. It aims to reduce costs within the industry, where cable failures in 2014-17 cost the sector £250M.  
  • The dynamics of large-scale turbulent motions in tidally energetic regions. This EPSRC- and NRN-funded work seeks to quantify large-scale turbulent motions and assess the impacts on tidal energy extraction and infrastructure. Observational field experiments are being undertaken in the Menai Strait and around north Wales, and include industry collaborators from UK, Europe and the USA.
  • WASP - Waves Across Shore Platforms. EPSRC-funded grant investigating wave attenuation processes across rocky shore platforms at multiple sites across the UK and New Zealand to produce a new numerical modelling tool.
  • Nearshore inter- to sub-tidal sediment exchange caused by the interaction of wave-driven nearshore currents, tidal currents and cross-shelf currents. This is linked to the Crown Estates Anglesey Tidal Test Site, with particular interest in nearshore sub-sea cable pathways, and encompasses field measurements of the full water column velocity, turbulence and sediment profiles. Autonomous Coastal Observatory buoy units are being deployed to support this work in  spring 2018.

 

I graduated from Plymouth University in 2002 with a BSc in Ocean Science and completed my PhD in gravel beach morphodynamics at Loughborough University in 2005. I have subsequently been a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at: Plymouth University (2005 - 2007, Cross-shore sediment transport on sandy beaches); Loughborough University (2007, Dust generation on an Arctic pro-glacial flood plain); before returning once again to Plymouth (2007 - 2010, Impacts of offshore wave energy arrays on seabed and shoreline processes; and 2010 - 2013, Dynamics of rip currents and implication for beach safety).  Research Areas

Contact Info

Office: 211 Marine Centre Wales     Phone: 01248 382803

Email: m.austin@bangor.ac.uk

Web: Google Scholar     ResearchGate     ORCID

Twitter: @mart_austin

I am an observational oceanographer and specialise in the hydro- and morpho-dynamics of the inter-tidal and shallow sub-tidal regions of the coastal ocean. My present research at Bangor includes:

  • The turbulent flow dynamics around sub-sea cables that causes seabed scour and subsequent cable failure. This ESPRC-funded research works in collaboration with three industry partners from the Marine Renewable Energy sector. It aims to reduce costs within the industry, where cable failures in 2014-17 cost the sector £250M.  
  • The dynamics of large-scale turbulent motions in tidally energetic regions. This EPSRC- and NRN-funded work seeks to quantify large-scale turbulent motions and assess the impacts on tidal energy extraction and infrastructure. Observational field experiments are being undertaken in the Menai Strait and around north Wales, and include industry collaborators from UK, Europe and the USA.
  • WASP - Waves Across Shore Platforms. EPSRC-funded grant investigating wave attenuation processes across rocky shore platforms at multiple sites across the UK and New Zealand to produce a new numerical modelling tool.
  • Nearshore inter- to sub-tidal sediment exchange caused by the interaction of wave-driven nearshore currents, tidal currents and cross-shelf currents. This is linked to the Crown Estates Anglesey Tidal Test Site, with particular interest in nearshore sub-sea cable pathways, and encompasses field measurements of the full water column velocity, turbulence and sediment profiles. Autonomous Coastal Observatory buoy units are being deployed to support this work in  spring 2018.

 

I graduated from Plymouth University in 2002 with a BSc in Ocean Science and completed my PhD in gravel beach morphodynamics at Loughborough University in 2005. I have subsequently been a Post-doctoral Research Fellow at: Plymouth University (2005 - 2007, Cross-shore sediment transport on sandy beaches); Loughborough University (2007, Dust generation on an Arctic pro-glacial flood plain); before returning once again to Plymouth (2007 - 2010, Impacts of offshore wave energy arrays on seabed and shoreline processes; and 2010 - 2013, Dynamics of rip currents and implication for beach safety).  Research Areas

Grant Awards and Projects

  • Cable Scour from fluid-seabed interactions in regions of mobile sedimentary bedforms

           Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

  • Measurable metrics for characterisation of large-scale turbulent structures in tidal races for the marine tidal energy industry

    Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council 
  • Waves Across Shore Platforms

    Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

Teaching and Supervision

PhD Students

  • Guy Walker-Springett
  • Natasha Lucas
  • Alex Virod

Masters Teaching

I offer both MSc and MSci research projects on shallow water physical oceanography and sediment dynamics processes, and contribute to several taught MSc modules.

Undergraduate Teaching

I am the progarmme organiser for the BSC Geological Oceanography degree and am the module organiser for ONS-1001 and OSX-3006, and contribute to OSX-1000, OSX-2000, OSX-2004, DXX-2007, OSX-3000, OSX-3007, and DXX-3018.

Postgraduate Project Opportunities

Project 1:

I am keen to develop a PhD project with a student to investigate the sediment resuspension and scour that occurs when sub-sea cables are exposed by bedform migration on the energetic continental shelf.

It is hypothesised that wake effects from emplaced objects on the seabed modify bedform migration rates through increased turbulent velocities and lead to a higher incidence of cable damage.

This project links with the Marine Renewable Energy industry and at the finer scale aims to take field measurements of turbulent flows and sediment suspension over a section of free-spanning sub-sea cable.

Wider-scale observations will aim to link far-field changes in bedform migration (and hence cable exposure) rates to wake effects of emplaced objects. 

Postgraduate Project Opportunities

Project 2:

I am interested in developing a PhD project with a potential student to investigate the coupling between the sub-tidal and inter-tidal sections of the beachface and a dynamic aeolian sand dune field.

It is hypothesised that over-stabilised sand dunes minimise the exchange of sand between dunes and beachface, and combined with storm-driven offshore sand transport, result in a lowering the beach elevation and enhanced wave energy flux impacting the dune foot.

Long-term large-scale dyanmics of an extensive offshore sandbank system appear to exert a significant alongshore control on the wave impacts experienced by the dune foot.

This project is based in North Wales and could potentially collaborate with National Resources Wales.

Education / academic qualifications

  • PhD , Swash-groundwater interactions on a natural gravel beach
  • BSc , Ocean Sciences
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