CoreRFID tags beach pebbles to support research project

By Tim Aldred

30 Aug 2023

CoreRFID Coastal Partners

CoreRFID is supporting a research project by individually tagging pebbles on beaches along the south coast, which will allow their movement to be monitored.

The ‘tracer pebbles’, which contain RFID tags supplied by the Skelmersdale-based firm, are being used to track sediment as it moves along the shoreline under wave action. The results provide a powerful tool to aid beach management decisions and the design of coastal defence schemes.

The system was developed over 10 years ago by Coastal Partners, which manages flood and erosion risk on behalf of five local authorities on the south coast. The organisation has carried out over ten studies to date and now has over 9,500 pebbles deployed at a range of different sites.

A year-long study at West Bay in Dorset has recently been completed, with the results now being analysed, while a new study has begun at Selsey, near Chichester where 400 tracer pebbles have been deployed.

Tracers consist of pebbles taken from the beach, drilled by a water jet and fitted with an RFID tag. They are then positioned along a stretch of coastline, and their location logged using GPS. Team members carry out regular surveys by walking the beach with a specialist RFID scanner which bleeps each time a tag is detected and automatically logs its ID number and GPS position. The data can then be uploaded, analysed and displayed in various different formats.

The pebbles contain passive RFID tags without a battery so they can be left in the field for long periods, and with a detection range of up to 1m. On average 72 per cent of tags are detected over a two-week period, with more than 95 per cent of all tags detected more than once.

Beach management is vital wherever erosion poses a risk to lives or property. Traditionally aerial photography and topographic data have been used to identify movement but the data can be limited. 

Emma Harris, a scientist with Coastal Partners, says: “By measuring the profile of a beach, we can see that material is being lost, and where it needs to be replaced, but we can’t see where it is going to. The beauty of using tracer pebbles is that we see the direction in which material is being transported and how fast. It’s another piece of the jigsaw and gives us a better understanding of what’s going on.”

Coastal Partners had originally sourced tags from overseas but following Brexit, decided to look for a UK supplier. CoreRFID recommended encapsulated, low frequency glass tags that were compatible with their existing readers, able to survive harsh environmental conditions and whose size and shape made it easy to insert them into pebbles. 

Richard Harrison of CoreRFID said: “Coastal Partners has developed a novel and cost-effective system that has been extremely effective in providing the data they need to help prevent coastal erosion and safeguard lives and property.

“RFID’s ability to identify and track individual items offers huge scope for creative applications, whether it is pebbles on a beach or items on a production line. By incorporating RFID into existing systems, it can help businesses to fill in some of the gaps in the data and build a more detailed picture.”

Enjoyed this? Read more from Tim Aldred

Latest news

1

BAE Systems unveils concept model of new Tempest aircraft Tempest Concept

BAE Systems unveils concept model of new Tempest aircraft

22 Jul 2024

2

Sharp increase in number of Lancashire firms in financial distress Chris Lawton

Sharp increase in number of Lancashire firms in financial distress

22 Jul 2024

3

New star announced as excitement builds for iMep Music Festival Irish singer songwriter Cian Ducrot. Credit Holly Whittaker.jpg.jpg

New star announced as excitement builds for iMep Music Festival

22 Jul 2024

4

Northern Trust to expand industrial property portfolio Northern Trust development

Northern Trust to expand industrial property portfolio

22 Jul 2024

5

IN4 launches new skills programme into Blackburn and Darwen schools IN4 Blackburn MEGA

IN4 launches new skills programme into Blackburn and Darwen schools

22 Jul 2024

Bec Web Strip 980x120
Background image for hub sign up block

LBV Hub

Leverage Lancashire Business View platforms

Post your news
Post your events
Post your offers
Build your network
Improve your SEO
Gain coverage in the magazine
Sign-up
Events
Lancashire Built Environment Conference
BEC 315 X 315 Px
Networking
25 Sep 2024

Lancashire Built Environment Conference

Conference and Exhibition Centre, Winter Gardens Blackpool, FY1 1HL

08:30 - 13:00

RISE - The Academy for Female Leaders and Managers
WENDY BOWERS RISE Illustrstion copy.jpg.jpg
LBV Hub Seminars
11 Jun 2024 - 04 Dec 2024

RISE - The Academy for Female Leaders and Managers

East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, Clayton le Moors, BB5 5JR

09:00 - 16:30

Preston Freelancer MeetUp and Coworking Day
Screenshot 2024-06-13 at 13.55.10.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
30 Jul 2024

Preston Freelancer MeetUp and Coworking Day

Society1 Coworking Space, Preston, PR1 3LT

10:00 - 12:00

Skills Bootcamp in Procurement - Cohort 1
Blue-Modern-Land-Travel-Youtube-Thumbnail-2-1024x576.png.png
LBV Hub Seminars
30 Jul 2024 - 08 Oct 2024

Skills Bootcamp in Procurement - Cohort 1

Community & Business Partners CIC, Blackburn, BB2 3UA

09:30 - 13:00

Chamber Breakfast Networking
Chamber Logo1.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
31 Jul 2024

Chamber Breakfast Networking

Pye Motors, Morecambe, LA3 3PF

08:00 - 10:00

Scaling your revenue: From zero to £1m in 60 months
CBP-logo LBV.png.png
LBV Hub Webinar
31 Jul 2024

Scaling your revenue: From zero to £1m in 60 months

Online, Online, Online

08:00 - 09:30

Online Women's Health Clinic
clinic.png.png
LBV Hub Webinar
06 Aug 2024

Online Women's Health Clinic

x, Online, x

12:00 - 12:00

International Coworking Day Open Day
1.png.png
LBV Hub Social
09 Aug 2024 - 09 Aug 2024

International Coworking Day Open Day

Society1 Coworking Space, Prestin, PR1 3 LT

10:00 - 13:00

Knowledge & Networking: Basic Digital Marketing
Chamber Logo1.png.png
LBV Hub Seminars
12 Aug 2024

Knowledge & Networking: Basic Digital Marketing

Lancaster Golf Club, Lancaster, LA2 0AJ

14:00 - 13:00

Understanding Menopause
menopause.png.png
LBV Hub Webinar
15 Aug 2024

Understanding Menopause

x, Online, x

12:30 - 13:15

Sub36 Networking Event - The Bee Centre
Sub36 Socialbee Centre
Networking
15 Aug 2024

Sub36 Networking Event - The Bee Centre

The Bee Centre, Chorley, PR6 8LZ

15:00 - 17:00

Mini Networkers - Family Fun Morning
CBP-logo LBV.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
16 Aug 2024

Mini Networkers - Family Fun Morning

Community & Business Partners CIC, Blackburn, BB2 3UA

10:00 - 13:00

Advertise with us

Reaching 50,000 members, our print, digital and event platforms offer a fantastic way to raise your business profile and help you grow.

Find out more LBV116 Online Graphic
Subscribe now

Weekly news bulletin