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Project Ideas

The Geomatics research group conducts research in a wide-variety of inter-disciplinary areas including coastal zone management, hydrography, geodesy, GIS, GPS & remote sensing. A list of suggested projects for BSc Ocean Exploration and/or MSc Hydrography include:

Level Supervisor Description

BSc/MSc

Dr Victor Abbott V.Abbott@plymouth.ac.uk

An extension of the Plymouth Sound GIS. A number of small pieces of GIS development work involving bathymetry, wrecks and seabed classification over ten years have developed into Bolton's 2006 GIS of Plymouth Sound.  This produced analytical activities.  With so much data of this area, it is ready for further extension and the increase in applied analysis.

BSc/MSc

Dr Victor Abbott V.Abbott@plymouth.ac.uk

An extension to the detailed mapping of Tamar tidal streams. We now have seven tidal stream observation programmes in the lower Hamoaze and extending out into the Sound (Admiralty, George, Wimpol, Kemp, Abbott, Soenen, Elsworth (plus, possibly Toft)).  Each has added to the detailed understanding of this major river, its minor confluence with Stonehouse Creek, its passage through the constriction of the Narrows and its wider movement through the Sound.  There is also a detailed swathe bathymetry dataset for most of this.  A gyre and counter-currents have been identified.  Visualisation has grown from sketches through to GIS-derived scaled & oriented arrows.  Further work could extend the detailed observations, improve the visualisation or develop a detailed mathematical model.

BSc/MSc

Dr Victor Abbott V.Abbott@plymouth.ac.uk

GPS geodesy on the coasts of Devon and Cornwall. The O.S. funded the investigation of the geoid model in use for the high quality ETRF89/OSGB36 transformation available from their GPS web site.  Nevertheless, it would be an interesting exercise to height tide gauges around the coast of D&C, taking cognisance of the Earth tides and determining the relationships between the levels on the various reference frames.

BSc/MSc

Dr Victor Abbott V.Abbott@plymouth.ac.uk

River Plym – Following the work by Dickey C, 2012 (on the Portal: IMS5104/ EOE2301, Supplementary Reading), undertake an investigation, possibly using the planning ideas described there. Useful reference may be made to SBES work by Barton A, 2011 (also on the Portal).

BSc/MSc

Dr Victor Abbott V.Abbott@plymouth.ac.uk

ArcPad as digital update tool. Taking examples for the MSc (Payne, 2005) and the BSc (Worsfold, 2006), and the combination of a transport system (variously boats and bicycles so far), a mobile GPS (possibly dGPS, possibly hand-held, possibly hand-held with differential input, possibly post-processed), digital camera, magnetic compass, tape, digital range finder and now utilising a hand-held HP IPaq running ESRI's ArcPad mobile GIS to run updates in the field in real-time.

BSc/MSc

Dr Victor Abbott V.Abbott@plymouth.ac.uk

Chart datum in the upper tidal Tamar. An investigation of chart datums along the river combining levelling, GPS and water level variations.  Opportunities to extend to a 1, 2 or 3 dimensional model and/or to include horizontal water movements.

BSc/MSc

Dr Victor Abbott V.Abbott@plymouth.ac.uk

Archiving Change: To collect, geo-reference and display charts of the Sound and rivers Plym and Tamar; to set changes in their historical context.  Aim – to investigate the appropriateness of historical data as a source for detecting change in the bathymetry of Plymouth Sound and its tributaries.

BSc/MSc

Dr Victor Abbott V.Abbott@plymouth.ac.uk

Instrumental reliability: to monitor a specific range of sensors (e.g. three magnetometers or GPS sets, or GPS operating in a variety of modes) in a variety of environments where ‘noise’ (e.g. light pollution for Total Stations or survey line direction for magnetometers) might change the received values.  Aim: to quantify the significant environmental and operational consequences affecting an instrument and justifying issues for its optimal use.

BSc/MSc

Dr Victor Abbott V.Abbott@plymouth.ac.uk

Replacement survey software: we have used a variety of on-line survey software over the years, most recently transferring from HyPack to Qinsy. We can read in AIS feeds into ArcGIS as demonstrated by the Navigation team to the UKHO and MCA).  Using Tracking Analyst ‘Geo-fences’ can be set up which will trigger warnings when a vessel sails into an area it isn’t supposed to be in. Using historical AIS data you can investigate historical movement of shipping, near misses etc. However, we don’t currently have a demonstrator set up. Tracking Analyst is included in the software Plymouth currently have as an extension to ArcGIS.

BSc/MSc

Dr Victor Abbott V.Abbott@plymouth.ac.uk

An investigation of policy with respect to installation of underwater cables: this study would consider cable laying strategy; permissions; seabed characteristics to be monitored; ownership of the seabed and costs/benefits to the various parties involved.

MSc

Dr Victor Abbott V.Abbott@plymouth.ac.uk

Determining chart cost benefits in risk reduction:Hydrographic surveys cost money.  Hydrographic surveys support more than charting.  How wide can you rationalise the subjects supported by hydrographic surveyors and what benefits accrue to a country that they are undertaken.  Is there a justification for the investment?  What is the cost/ benefit ratio?

MSc

Prof. Gerd Masselink, Tim Poate & Ken Kingston Gerd.Masselink@plymouth.ac.uk

Large-scale and small-scale morphology of shore platforms measured using terrestrial scanner. Over the next two years, members of the Coastal Processes Research Group will be measuring the transformation of ocean waves across rocky shore platforms as part of the EPSRC funded WASP project (Waves Across Shore Platforms). There is scope for two exciting MSc projects, focusing on using a terrestrial scanner to characterise both the large-scale and small-scale morphology of these platforms (overall platform shape and platform roughness, respectively). Both morphological scales have a very significant impact on how the waves propagate over the platforms and the WASP project seeks to obtain a modelling capability for wave transformation across rocky platforms. We are looking for two MSc students who can work both independently and in a team to contribute to this project. The work will involve participating in some of the field experiments (either in Wales or Cornwall - we have 6 x 5-day field experiments planned), but will also require the students to go out on their own to scan some local platforms. Good numeracy skills are required and also a willingness to learn MATLAB software for analysing the data. These two projects work best if a pair of MSc students are available. The exact research questions can be formulated following discussion to also ensure there is not too much overlap between the two projects, whilst maximising the benefits of working together.

BSc/MSc Gwyn Jones G.E.Jones@plymouth.ac.uk Processing data collected for the Shallow Survey conference, based at Plymouth University. There were a range of MBES with a motion sensor. The committee (a joint venture between the UKHO and the MCA)is looking for wider opportunities which may include processing and visualisation.

BSc/MSc

Gwyn Jones G.E.Jones@plymouth.ac.uk

Assessment of multi-beam technology in the Plymouth area.

BSc/MSc

Gwyn Jones G.E.Jones@plymouth.ac.uk

Sonar imaging of the seabed and imagery presentation.

BSc/MSc

Gwyn Jones G.E.Jones@plymouth.ac.uk

Validity of tidal Height Diamonds on UKHO Admiralty charts – practical studies required in Plymouth Sound

BSc/MSc

Gwyn Jones G.E.Jones@plymouth.ac.uk

Archaeological assessment using multibeam and/or sidescan sonar in Plymouth Sound.

BSc/MSc

Mr Martin Read

M.Read@plymouth.ac.uk

Title: Sub-Bottom Profile Survey of the Cattewater Wreck
Project description: The Tudor Cattewater Wreck was the first wreck in the UK to be protected by the UK Government under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973. Last year a Masters student carried out a towed survey over the site and found new areas of interest and recommended a fixed sub-bottom profile survey to be carried out. This project would carry on his work. The student would need to organise the provision of a sub-bottom profiler (possibly using the company from last year). The project would be best carried out before the Cattewater Harbourmaster lays out his yacht moorings around Easter, so preparation for this would need to start fairly soon.
BSc/MSc

Mr Martin Read

M.Read@plymouth.ac.uk

Title: Post Disturbance Geophysical survey in the area of the Mount Batten Landing Stage 
Project description: The Mount Batten ferry landing stage was almost certainly constructed without a proper archaeological assessment being carried out in advance of development. A desk-based assessment of the potential archaeology in the area combined with a geophysical survey (magnetometer and side scan) would be useful. The project would be best carried out before the Cattewater Harbourmaster lays out his yacht moorings around Easter.
BSc/MSc

Mr Martin Read

M.Read@plymouth.ac.uk

Glen Strathallan
This is part of the Historic England Database Enhancement Project of this known site and is intended to be the start of a long-term monitoring programme to assess any changes due to winter storms or global warming.
History of the wreck
Built in 1928, the ship was deliberately scuttled in 1970 to act as a wreck for training dives from Fort Bovisand. The engine was removed prior to this and is now at the Science Museum in London (possibly on display). However, the wreck was broken up by storms.
The project would involve carrying out Side-scan & Magnetometer surveys to position the various elements of this wreck. Possibly follow up with an ROV survey.

BSc/MSc

Mr Martin Read

M.Read@plymouth.ac.uk

Sites SE of Drakes Island
This is part of a project involving the search for and study of the two English East Indiaman lost in Plymouth Sound. The Dutton, lost on Plymouth Hoe in 1796, and Palsgrave, lost near Drakes Island in 1637. Two other wrecks are known to have been lost in this area (HMS Conqueror & Lavinia).
An undergraduate magnetometer survey in ?2009 located the probable sites of two wrecks to the SE of Drake’s Island. Subsequent diver survey of the area failed to locate any evidence on the surface and side-scan sonar surveys show that the site is buried.
The project would involve carrying out Sub-bottom Profile & Magnetometer surveys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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