Coastal strategies and scientific advice for Network Rail

Supporting critical infrastructure management and developing Asset Management Plans

ABPmer was asked to support Network Rail in the management of its critical infrastructure in Kent. The Kent Regional Structures Team in particular wanted Asset Management Plans for its coastal structures at Bexhill, Seasalter and Folkestone Warren.

Asset Management Plans outline the surveys, maintenance requirements and capital investment measures required to manage the coastal (seaward) aspects of the assets in the short, medium and long term. ABPmer, working with ENBE, made recommendations specific to the individual assets, along with the associated risks, tasks and indicative timeframes for implementation. 

The action plans were developed by integrating structural knowledge with coastal processes understanding of current standards and trends taking account of future sea level rise and potential change to tidal and wave processes. The proposed management plans were presented as timelines for defence asset management to allow for proactive financial planning.

The desktop study included review and analysis of Shoreline Management Plans, beach survey reports and analysis of beach profile data to understand the beach and foreshore behaviour, along with asset inspection reports.

Overtopping and joint probability analysis (JPA) including wave transformation was conducted to understand the overall vulnerability of the frontages using MIKE LITPACK software to transform locally derived JPA wave and water levels conditions to the toe of the defences. Key locations were assessed for their overtopping risk using wave and water level timeseries through the EurOtop Neural Network Tool.

Our scientific advice focuses on the provision of hydrodynamic information (waves and water levels) along with beach level change.  This is supplemented by discussions on the coastal process considerations for design and construction methodology.   

ABPmer is a recognised authority in numerical modelling and metocean criteria, and is regularly called upon to provide technical input to engineering design that satisfies both consenting requirements and international standards.