Author(s): Roger A. Falconer; Binliang Lin; Reza Ahmadian; Junqiang Xia
Keywords: No Keywords
Abstract: The paper discusses the current controversial proposals to build a tidal barrage to generate renewable energy across the Severn Estuary in the U. K. In particular, emphasis is focussed on assessing the potential hydro-environmental impact of the barrage on the estuary, including the implications for geomorphological and flood risk changes. An outline is given on recent research undertaken by the authors on bacterial-sediment interactions and the application of a numerical hydro-environmental model to predict the impact of a barrage on the tidal elevations and currents, suspended sediment concentrations and background bacterial levels in the estuary. The results show that a barrage has the potential to reduce the tidal currents in this highly dynamic estuary. This, in turn, will lead to reduced suspended sediment loads (particularly upstream of a barrage), increased light penetration within the water column, improved water clarity and, potentially, an increase in the benthic bio-diversity and level of aquatic life in the estuary.