Coastal change assessment is an important component of informed coastal risk management and evidence-based climate resilience planning and adaptation on regional, national, and European levels. For this reason, Geological Survey Ireland has embarked on the Coastal Change Assessment Project. To ensure timely/time-critical data availability for stakeholders and end users, it comprises two elements:
- Shoreline Change Assessment: Shoreline change is based on erosion and accretion rates for soft coasts analysed for the period between 2000 and 2021 for each coastal county. The results from this assessment analyses past trends of coastal change, to indicate where potential exposure may lie in the future, but they are not predictive. Shoreline Change Assessment yields shoreline change rates and classes which are then incorporated into development of CVI.
- Coastal Vulnerability Index (CVI): CVI is one of the most commonly used methods to assess coastal vulnerability to sea level rise, in particular due to erosion and/or inundation. The CVI considers several coastal indicators or variables that in the Irish context were found to contribute to, or be indicative of, sea-level related coastal change: geomorphology, cliff type, coastline orientation, regional coastal slope, tidal range, significant wave height, relative sea level rise, and long-term shoreline erosion and accretion rates.
The results are intended to support coastal management plans and the refinement of national and local climate adaptation plans.