The IH-SET tool developed by IHCantabria will allow predicting changes in the coastline position over time

by | 18 Sep, 2023 | Coastal Management and Engineering, General News, PCM, Recovery, Transformation and Resiliency Plan | 0 comments

This tool will be of great relevance for the assessment of beach morphodynamics and coastal engineering studies. It will allow simulating the evolution of beaches and the effects of climate change in the future, thus enabling planning and decision-making regarding the coastline.


Within the framework of the Marine Science Program (PCM, for its acronym in Spanish), research staff from the Environmental Hydraulics Institute of the University of Cantabria (Instituto de Hidráulica Ambiental de la Universidad de Cantabria, IHCantabria) carries out the project called Shoreline Evolution Tools (IH-SET), whose objective is to create a new tool to address morphodynamic studies at different spatial and temporal scales, both in projects and in beach management.

The new IH-SET system could become a new reference tool, inside and outside IHCantabria. One of the principal investigators of this project is Camilo Jaramillo, who states that the IH-SET tool will be of great use in engineering projects and coastal management.

The Coastal Engineering and Management Group (IGC) at IHCantabria has extensive experience in formulating models and methodologies suitable for various morphological approaches. Based on this experience, the IH-SET project arises from the need to create a system that unifies morphodynamic shoreline models, including some formulated by the IGC Group, and to contribute with additional research to the development of a new model of shoreline evolution. This model will address the most significant physical processes, from the short term (days to weeks) to the long term (years to decades), and will enable the measurement of sand displacement within the system, i.e., on beaches, dunes and seabed.

“The main product of this project will be the development of a software, which is also identified with the name Shoreline Evolution Tools (IH-SET),” says Lucas de Freitas Pereira, who is carrying out his doctoral thesis at IHCantabria, within the framework of this PCM project.

The results of the IH-SET project will be published in high impact indexed journals. In addition, the transmission of knowledge related to the characteristics and operation of the new IH-SET tool to coastal managers, engineering technicians and all entities interested in its application is scheduled. It is also foreseen to connect with researchers involved in the subject at a global level, in order to strengthen alliances with other centers of excellence.

Therefore, the application of the results of the IH-SET project will promote great advances in terms of beach morphodynamics studies. One of its impacts is that it will allow coastal stakeholders and managers to access more robust, reliable and practical tools to improve the estimation of medium, long and very long term shoreline changes in order to forecast future erosion risk scenarios.

The development of this project will also be relevant for coastal engineers, who will be provided with new tools, at different levels of approximation and precision, to carry out coastal dynamics studies and beach regeneration projects. The execution period for this project will end in 2025.