Rip current research attracts funding from the Royal Geographical Society

Geology and Geophysics PhD student Seb Pitman has been awarded a postgraduate research award from the Royal Geographical Society. The RGS offers two awards per annum in each of the following disciplines: physical environment; conservation/sustainability; and society/economy. The awards aim to help PhD students establish themselves in their particular field, and are preferentially awarded to research that furthers geographical knowledge and also demonstrates applied benefits.

Seb’s research focuses on the formation, persistence and spacing of rip currents in different coastal environments. In particular, the research supervised by Dr Shari Gallop (Geology and Geophysics) and Dr Ivan Haigh (Physical Oceanography) here in Ocean and Earth Sciences, will look to quantify the hazard signature posed by rips that exhibit differing morphologies. The research also involves Dr Sasan Mahmoodi from University of Southampton, Prof Gerd Masselink from Plymouth University, and Prof. Roshanka Ranasinghe from UNESCO-IHE.

The research grant will contribute to the collection of field data during an experiment on Perranporth later in the year. The deployment will act to validate an automated method of rip identification that Seb has been working on using video imagery of the surfzone.

aFigure shows preliminary results of automated rip channel detection from an image of Tairua Beach, New Zealand.