By using this site you consent to the use of cookies for the sole purpose of providing the full functionality of this website and its related services.

For more information please refer to Terms of use and Privacy & Cookies   No Thanks

Estuaries research projects

The following downloads and supporting information is available from the Estuaries Research Programme that has been running since 1997.  For more information visit:
Joint Defra/EA research programme (good point of entry)
Defra/EA download tool (all completed project outputs should be available here)
EA science project search (allows you to search science projects, but no downloads)

Or download documents and visit the websites given below. The download documents are provided for convenience of the user but it is recommended to confirm the current status of project outputs from the Defra and Environment Agency web addresses provided above.

FD1006 Estuary Process and Morphology Scoping Study
This was the original scoping study produced by a consortium led by HR Wallingford which came up with a costed programme of research over a period of 10 years. The programme of research was designed to come up with an Estuary Management System containing physical, ecological, social, economic factors.
The report produced was SR478 (HR Wallingford) - PDF 409KB.

W5-010 Predicting extreme water levels in estuaries
The overall objective of the study led by Halcrow with University of Bristol, was to develop rigorous but practicable methods for the real-time forecasting of extreme water levels in estuaries, suitable for incorporation into existing Environment Agency flood warning systems.
W5-0110-2 Stage 2 - PDF 896KB

FD1401 ERP Phase 1 also known as EMPHASYS
EMPHASYS stood for Estuarine Morphology and Processes Holistic Assessment System. This large multi-partnered project was led by HR Wallingford and delivered three reports and a database. The reports were on a Mark 1 Estuary Impact Assessment System, a comprehensive technical report on modelling and data based assessments of estuaries, recommendations for Phase 2. End project workshop.
EMPHASYS report - PDF 13.8MB (EMPHASYS Consortium, 2000)
EMPHASYS guide - PDF 3.97MB (EMPHASYS Consortium, 2000)
TR113 Recommendations for phase 2 of the ERP - PDF 492KB

FD2002 Futurecoast
This project was delivered by a team led by Halcrow and produced behavioural statements for coasts and estuaries, a geomorphological manual, assessment of future shoreline behaviour under assumptions of unconstrained (i.e. assuming no defences or management practices) and managed (i.e. assuming present management practices continue indefinitely) future scenarios.  A video fly-by around the coastline of England and Wales was also completed in 2001. The report is available as an interactive CD ROM and there is also an accompanying Aerial Photograph CD with the digital video.
FD2002 Futurecoast - PDF 991KB

FD2102 Tidal river bathymetry
This project covered the collection of bathymetry in the River Humber in 2001.

FD2108 BSEIM scoping study
This project was delivered by a team led by Cascade Consulting and scoped the requirements for successful simulation of Broad Scale Ecosystem Impact Modelling. This will require tools that can predict the changes in hydraulic, hydrodynamic, geomorphological and ecological systems and the interactions and feedback loops between each. The simulation of geomorphological change and dynamic ecological consequence require significant levels of investigation and testing, for both freshwater and estuarine/coastal systems.
FD2108 BSEIM scoping report - PDF 1.28MB
FD2112 BSEIM toolbox report - PDF 6.76MB

FD2115 Research Plan
This project was completed by Jon French (UCL), Michael Owen and Dominic Reeve (Plymouth) and delivered a report reviewing Phase 1 of the ERP and presented some detailed ways forward for ERP in Phase 2 including a prioritised 3-5 year programme of estuarine R&D and suggested linkages with other programmes.
FD2115 ERP Phase 2 research plan - PDF 1.15MB

FD2110 ERP1 Uptake and dissemination
This project was led by Royal Haskoning and the project team produced a guidance note for assessing morphological change in estuaries, a public estuaries database, some training materials (PDF 1.98MB) and a report on how to deal with data building on CIRIA project work done by HR Wallingford and LSE.
FD2110 Technical summary - PDF 151KB
FD2110 TR1 Morphological change - PDF 2.11MB
FD2110 TR2 Data best practice - PDF 1.98MB

FD1905 ERP2 EstProc
This was led by HR Wallingford and the consortium delivered three reports – one on algorithms for implementing into your own models for hydrodynamic, sediment and ecological aspects. Also there was a metadata report to allow people to trace the data and there was a synthesis report bringing together the good science under one report cover.
FD1905 Technical Summary - PDF 78KB
FD1905 TR2 - PDF 3.19MB
FD1905 TR3 - PDF 3.85MB

FD2308 Joint probability – dependence mapping and best practice
This was led by HR Wallingford. This mapped the dependence around Britain for all pairs of variables relevant to flood risk. This filled a gap that delayed the take up of joint probability methods.
FD2308 TR2 - PDF 2.57MB

FD2107 ERP1 Hybrid estuary model development
The consortium led by POL brought together top down and bottom up process models into a hybrid approach. The approach developed allows the time development aspects of bottom up models to be implemented in a longer term fashion using top down derived targets. There are tests on various estuaries including the Thames.
Hybrid Morphological Models FD2107 Final Technical Report - PDF 3.6MB

WS-0706 Saltmarsh management manual
This was led by Royal Haskoning and has led to an update to the earlier saltmarsh management manual. It is delivered by a website available at:

SC030224 MDSF2 RASP Inception
(to complete in 2008)
This project on the Modelling and Decision Support Framework (MDSF) was led by HR Wallingford with Halcrow and University of Middlesex. It dealt with the management of assets within a risk based framework. The MDSF was developed in 2001 to provide a tool for quantifying economic and social impacts of flooding at catchment scalefor present day conditions, future scenarios and with flood management options. It has been applied widely for flood/erosion risk assessment as part of the Catchment Flood Management Plan (CFMP) and Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) programmes and has also been used on strategy studies and schemes. MDSF2 is ongoing and due to finish in 2008.
SC030224 MDSF2 main phase initial report - PDF 434KB
For more information see

SC040018 Performance Based Asset Management System Phase 2
This project was led by HR Wallingford and is related to the management of assets within a risk based framework. This builds on Phase 1 which provided a scoping study that included a review of needs, conceptual framework and initial evaluation of the concept. The focus of the present project is to develop methods to support performance-based and risk-based management of the flood defence assets belonging to the Agency and others. The programme supports the provision of improved inspection, maintenance, operation and management of flood defence systems through the identification of appropriate management interventions to provide a desirable reduction in flood risk.
PAMS Phase 1 scoping study report - PDF 1.96MB
For more information see web at

FD2117 ERP2 Estuary Simulators Development (EstSim)
The consortium led by ABPmer worked on the delivery of comprehensive reports on the behavioural properties estuaries based on the classification of estuaries into seven types. Each estuary type has some common geomorphological elements. There are reports and there will be a web based demonstrator for this estuary behaviour. The results from the end user consultation exercise are presented in Appendix B of the final report.
FD2117 Report on Methods and Tools for Simulating Estuary Behaviour - PDF 909KB
FD2117 Final Technical Report - PDF 5.88MB

FD2116 ERP2 Review of Geomorphological Concepts
This HR Wallingford led team produced a large text book on estuary geomorphology including information on the steps required in setting up a conceptual model and on the pulling together of data based analysis and modelling approaches to arrive a consensus through Expert Geomorphological Assessment. This was disseminated at a workshop in London.
FD2116 Technical summary - PDF 47KB
FD2116 TR2 - PDF 6.63MB

FD2119 Uptake and ERP3 Scoping
This project was completed in 2008 and the final report (TR3) is available below. It delivered an enhanced EIAS building on all the research done to date and recognising the role of EMPHASYS and the estuary guide by ABPmer Consultation has led the the scoping of requirements of the future programme to deliver the Estuary Management System. The report (TR2) available below presents the findings from consultation with end-users of the research in the period February through to July 2007. The results were used to inform the development of the research outputs. Consultation was carried out as a joint activity with project FD2117 during this period, and also as part of the dissemination activities through the Estuaries Research Programme stand at the Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Conference in York (3-5 July 2007). Two training events were held in November 2007 and a final seminar workshop of the project was held in March 2008. The presentations from these events are available by clicking the above links.
FD2119 TR2 Consultation report - PDF 1.42MB
FD2119 TR3 Final report - PDF 4.71MB



Last Modified on: 12 March 2024
Printed from the Estuary Guide on 18/06/2024 14:09:34