OES G&G Coastal team visits China

Back in June, a team of researchers form the Coastal Group at University of Southampton (UoS), comprising Prof Carl Amos, Prof Ian Townend, Dr Charlie Thompson and Dr Hachem Kassem completed a 10 day trip to China. The team were invited by the College of Harbor, Coastal & Offshore Engineering at Hohai University (HHU), Nanjing, to attend two special workshops on sediment dynamics, and to discuss potential collaboration.

The team first travelled to the State Key Laboratory of Estuarine and Coastal Research, at East China Normal University (ECNU), in Shanghai, for a workshop on saltmarsh dynamics, hosted by Prof Shu Gao and Prof Li Xiuzhen, and chaired by Profs Carl Amos and Ian Townend, with invited speakers from UoS, ECNU, HHU, Nanjing University, Nanjing Hydraulics Research Institute, and Second Institute of Oceanography.  Following an overview of research currently undertaken, the discussions focussed on issues associated with saltmarsh stability in response to rising sea levels, sediment supply and changes in hydrodynamics/ environmental parameters. This was followed by fieldtrip to the Yangshan Deep water port (South of Shanghai) and an excursion to the saltmarshes along  Shanghai’s coastline.

Discussing salt marsh stability at ECNU


Saltmarsh Workshop held at East China Normal University
Saltmarsh (Spartina Alterniflora) and hard coastal defences along the Shanghai Coastline. The 32km-long Donghai Bridge leading to Yangshan Deep Water Port (world’s longest cross-sea bridge at time of completion) is visible in the distance.


The team then travelled to Nanjing, to discuss potential research collaborations between UoS and HHU, and to participate in a workshop on coastal sediment dynamics.  The two day workshop covered a range of topics focussed on the core research strengths at the two leading universities, ranging from morphodynamics of intertidal and nearshore environments, to estuarine and coastal modelling, fundamental physics of sediment transport. The discussions identified key research gaps in the field that can form the core of joint research collaboration.  Dr Charlie Thompson was also invited to give a guest talk to the international PhD student cohort at Hohai on her research linking biology and physics to understanding coastal change in muddy environments though field observations. The team also had a  chance to visit the research labs at Hohai, and to meet a number of the postgraduate students to discuss their research. The workshop was followed by a trip to the extensive intertidal mudflats and saltmarshes along the Jiangsu Coast (near Yancheng), the to the reclamation sites at Duolong Port, which incorporate aquaculture, rice plantation, and renewable energy production (wind and solar) at a truly epic scale.



The Southampton Team, from Left to right: Dr Charlie Thompson, Prof Carl Amos, Dr Hachem Kassem and Prof Ian Townend
Tidal Creek network at the expansive mudflats in Tiaozini
Aquaculture farms, rice plantation, and renewable energy production at the reclamation site, Duolong
Field excursion to the extensive tidal mudflats in Tiaozini.
We had great opportunities  to meet postgraduate students and discuss research ideas at Hohai University.


Finally, the team had a chance to visit some the historical and cultural areas in Nanjing, including the Confucius Temple, and the Linguu Temple. We would like to thank Dr Jingjing Zhou in particular for all her efforts in organising the trip, and our hosts for their amazing hospitality, and look forward to many more!