Previous IGCP projects have made significant contributions to the methods of data collection from the coastal zone. One of the aims Project 495 is to develop a manual of best practice for the collection and analysis of sea-level and coastal data which will be made widely available in paper format and also on the world-wide web. It will be a multi-authored publication based on case studies from around the world. Its construction will be a central objective of a series of workshops associated with each of the proposed annual field meetings. The handbook will have two sections:
- Section 1: Methods of data collection
This will review techniques of litho-, bio- and chronostratigraphic data collection as well as the use of morphological data. Each sub-section will tackle methods applied in a range of geographical settings and depositional environments, from uplifting polar beach complexes to subsiding low latitude deltaic or estuarine settings, as well as over a range of time scales. The methods covered will be focused on the coast, but will include reference to the shelf and the fluvial realms.
- Section 2: Data interpretation
This will address the methods of data analysis and hypothesis testing to determine driving mechanisms behind coastal and RSL change, as well as Quaternary land-ocean interactions. Sub-sections will tackle: constructing RSL graphs; age and altitude errors; palaeogeographic evolution (including palaeotidal modelling); modelling sediment flux to and across the coastal zone; crustal motions associated with glacio-isostatic rebound, sediment compaction and subsidence; the definition of ocean volume change; identification of palaeoearthquakes and tsunamis; geophysical modelling; ocean and atmospheric forcing; archaeology and the role of human agency in coastal evolution.