Colwyn Bay waterfront development: physical modelling, Wallingford

25 April, 2017 | 18:00 - 20:00

Modelling Colwyn Bay using physical models.
Modelling Colwyn Bay using physical models.

About this event

Conwy Borough County Council are currently regenerating the waterfront along the promenade in Colwyn Bay, Wales. As part of the development, a beach nourishment scheme is being implemented to help protect the promenade and to reinstate the beach amenity that has been lost from the area through coastal erosion. The works are being carried out in three Phases with Phase 1 already having been completed.

The Phase 2 works have presented a difficult challenge to the Council and their designers. The frontage immediately south of the Rhos-on-Sea breakwater to the north of the bay, runs very obliquely to the incoming waves. This has led to uncertainty in the numerical modelling that has been carried out to try and predict the beach response under a number of different schemes. For this reason, a physical model of the bay and different schemes was commissioned and has been carried out at HR Wallingford.

The physical model was carried out in the Froude Modelling Hall in a basin that measures 50 by 30 m at a scale of 1:50. This has allowed us to model over 2.5 km of the Colwyn Bay sea-front. Several different schemes were tested including a beach recharge only scheme as well as the use of detached emergent offshore breakwaters. The presentation will include an introduction to the physical modelling procedure and model set-up, followed by a tour of the physical model laboratory and a demonstration of the Colwyn Bay model.

Numbers are restricted to just 20 for this event and pre-booking via the website is required. Visitors are also recommended to wear sensible flat shoes for a tour of the laboratory.


Tom Rigden

Tom Rigden is a scientist in the Coastal Structures Group with over 9 years' experience of physical modelling studies having completed an MSc in Flood risk at the University of Plymouth. He has worked on and managed a number of physical modelling studies including breakwaters for ports and terminals as well as surf reefs for coastal protection. Tom has lead HR Wallingford's use and development of 3D laser scanning and applying digital terrain models to assess damage coefficients for physical models for breakwaters and cumulative scour impacts on beach morphology and around marine structures.