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The Marjorie Sweeting Award

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The Marjorie Sweeting Dissertation Prize is awarded annually for the best undergraduate geomorphological dissertation undertaken at a UK university.

The nomination deadline is September 30th every year.

Entries are invited for this annual competition. The award (£200 plus funded attendance at the BSG Annual Conference) is presented to the successful nominee at the Annual General Meeting. The agreed guidelines for assessment are as follows.

Subject area: the field of geomorphology: earth surface process, and the erosion, deposition and formation of landforms and sediments. Foci can include the physical geography of river, valley, glacier, mountain, hill, slope, coast, desert and estuary environments; alongside responses to Holocene, Quaternary and other long term environmental changes.

Originality: The project should be an independent study, originated by the student. In particular, it should not be linked to a funded research programme, nor exhibit undue influence of or similarity to the supervisor’s known and published work.

Assessment criteria: In recognition of the fact that different departments operate under various rubrics in respect of length, weighting, supervision and presentation, and in order to embrace this variation in a fair manner, the main criterion of assessment shall be excellence as a work of science in the field of geomorphology.

Entries can be submitted online at: http://www.geomorphology.org.uk/node/535?award=%27spamprevention

Latest Winner

Natasha Wallum (2018)

Title: Modelling the effects of climate change and sea-level rise on complex soft cliff coastlines.

Abstract: The relevance of UK Shoreline Management Plans for complex soft cliffs is currently limited by the present inability of the probabilistic model to provide mesoscale (10-100 year) forecasts of coastal retreat using the latest national climate change and sea-level rise projections (UKCP09). A statistical, process-response model using accumulated excess energy (AEE; the time-integrated total wave energy above an erosion threshold) has been employed to demonstrate a potential complementary modelling approach, which can be readily implemented using the latest national climate change information. Previously applied exclusively to simple cliff systems, the AEE model has been shown to account for 68% of the variance in observed rates of cliff top retreat for a complex soft cliff on the Dorset Coast, UK. Forecasts of future (next ∼100 year) cliff recession at the site using the AEE model under various sea-level rise and wave height scenarios from UKCP09 projections suggest changes in retreat rate between -13% and +232% by 2100, dependent upon emissions scenario. To facilitate interpretation of the potential implications of cliff retreat under a projected changing climate, coastal erosion hazard maps were developed from model outputs for coastal management and land-use planning.