A new research project funded by the Research Council (TRC) on sea-level development in Oman was launched in Oman and Germany recently. The project is the second project on natural hazards and other processes along the coastline of Oman conducted by a team of researchers, including students and lead by Prof. Dr. Goesta Hoffmann of GUtech and Prof. Dr. Reicherter from RWTH Aachen University.
“This second project aims at the quantification of driving forces acting along the coastline of Oman; an area where the country’s population density is highest but knowledge on acting natural processes is limited. The proposed high resolution study follows a holistic approach and is based on results gained within a first TRC (funded project (ORG GUtech EBR 10 013) as well as on outcomes of the international IGCP (UNESCO’s International Geoscience Programme) project 588,“ said Prof. Dr. Goesta Hoffmann, Associate Professor at the Department of Applied Geosciences at GUtech.
According to Prof. Goesta, the project also aims to bring together students from GUtech and its associated RWTH Aachen University in Germany and to combine teaching and research, which is the key to success.
Initial fieldwork was conducted along the Jaalan coastline with two Omani GUtech students, Maryam Al Balushi and Samira Al Balushi along with a student from GUtech’s German partner-university, RWTH Aachen University. For their research, the students mapped the position of old beaches along the coastline in the vicinity of As Silah (Sharqiyah Region). The main idea behind the mapping is that a beach clearly marks the location of the sea level. “If we find (rocks formed as) beach deposits elevated above the current high tide level we may have an indication of either: a former sea level higher than today or the vertical displacement of the earth crust (e.g. uplift).” explained Prof. Goesta while adding that “these processes include differential land-movement as well as global changes in sea-level. The expected results will be applicable in adaption strategies to changes induced by global climate changes where a general rise in sea-level is seen as major challenge coastal societies will face in the near future. We cannot predict the future, but we can learn from the past. Adaptation strategies to global problems (like climate change) can only be implemented if we understand local processes”