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Durham University

Department of Geography

News Archive

New Multi-Million Pound Coastal Behaviour Project for Durham Geographers

(30 May 2014)

The 'COastal Behaviour and Rates of Activity' (COBRA) project began in 2002 and is an ongoing collaborative project with Cleveland Potash Ltd. based at Boulby Mine in North Yorkshire. Boulby Mine is the only commercial potash mine in the UK and is the most important on-hydrocarbon mineral operation in Britain. Potash is a potassium baring mineral which is used in organic fertilizer in farming.

The research is particularly interested in coastal erosion and evolution, rock slope failure, wide-area ground deformation monitoring both on and off shore, high resolution remote sensing, bespoke geotechnical test and real time monitoring. Since 2002, the findings of the research to date have been widely applied on coastlines around the UK and also in many other settings including mountainous regions, high latitudes and the developing world.

Many new techniques are being developed and used including the development and application of laser scanning (TLS) and light detection and ranging (LiDAR) to monitor the erosion of cliffs and spatial resolution.

Cleveland Potash use this research to inform mine planning and operations, by providing the best possible baseline monitoring data of the seabed, land-surface and coastline above their workings.

For more information on COBRA and the details of the research and techniques taking place visit the COBRA project website.