Informed decision making with digital twin implementation
The sand engine was designed to defend against erosion and surges for the next 15 years, giving the terminal’s leaders, coastal managers, and the local residents’ peace of mind as they work and live. It also gives them time to prepare for inevitable future coastal change.
The digital twin is also helping the clients save time and money on the analytics work, reducing their reliance on consultancy and giving them instant access to critical information. In turn, that’s helping them make more intelligent solutions about the future of the terminal.
There is now scope to expand the digital twin’s capabilities beyond just monitoring the sand. For example, adding more sand to the beach changes how the current behaves, so the twin’s predictions could be used to pinpoint safe areas to swim based on weather and tidal conditions.
For the residents of Bacton and Walcott, the sand engine has bought time to adapt to coastal change and created a sense of safety. Even if there’s a storm, they know that their sea wall and promenade is protected, and their homes won’t flood.
The project has restored much of the beach that had disappeared over the last 30 years, giving the residents a scenic space once more – and boosting the local economy.
As the first project of its kind in the UK – and only the second in the world – North Norfolk District Council and the Bacton terminal companies have demonstrated they are forward-thinking clients, becoming early adopters of digital twins for coastal management alongside Bacton terminal companies.
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