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Coastal and Continental Morphodynamics laboratory

scientific production online repository

The "Coastal and Continental Morphodynamics" laboratory (M2C) is a Joint Research Unit (UMR 6143) created in 1996, under the supervision of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), the university of Caen Normandie (UNICAEN) and the university of Rouen Normandy (URN). The staff of the laboratory includes 86 persons: 37 researchers, 21 engineers and technicians, 28 PhD students. The research of the M2C laboratory focuses on the characterization and modeling of natural processes dynamics in different compartments along the LAND-SEA continuum, at different scales of time and space. The research is organized into 5 themes::
  • Water and sediment cycles in watersheds;
  • Macrotidal estuarine environment: hydrodynamics interactions, sedimentology, biochemistry;
  • Dynamics of the coastline and of the internal platform;
  • Morphological evolution of coastal watersheds in response to climatic and tectonic forcing since the late Cenozoic;
  • Hydrodynamics, sediments and structures: Processes and interactions.


This research is carried out with an interdisciplinary approach integrating researchers specialized in mechanics, geosciences, oceanography, hydrology, microbiology and ecology of organisms. Our research combines in-situ measurements with numerous dedicated equipment, experimental approaches and numerical moodeling.

Number of records

1 159


Evolution of records


Last publications

[hal-02957730] Wide coverage but few quantitative data: Coarse sediments in the English Channel

Offshore Wind Farms (OWFs) in the English Channel and along the coast of Normandy (France) will be installed on coarse sediments, which cover about 80% of the seabed of the English Channel. A BACI (Before After Control Impact) approach has been recommended by the French State for each of these OWFs. This provides the opportunity to acquire macrofauna data and assess the Ecological Quality Status in areas that are poorly sampled. In the case of the Dieppe-Le Tréport (DLT) OWF, for that, a sampling strategy was developed in 2014–2016 to establish a ‘Before’ state for the sediment and macrofauna. Results highlight that the DLT OWF project site includes three different sediment type: sandy Gravel (sG), gravelly Sand (gS) and medium Sand (mS). Taxonomic Richness and abundances are dominated by Annelids in all three habitats, followed by Arthropods and Molluscs. In terms of biomass, Molluscs (bivalves) are predominant in sG and gS, while Echinoderms and Polychaetes along with bivalves represent a high fraction of the biomass in mS. Surface Deposit Feeders are the most important group in terms of abundance, while Filter feeders largely dominate the biomass. The benthic indices based on abundances reveal a high Ecological Quality Status for the three sediment types. However, due to the predominant contribution of the bivalve Glycymeris glycymeris to the biomass, the habitat quality appears to vary from moderate to bad. In comparison with other similar habitats, the Taxonomic Richness and Abundances of coarse sediments and medium sand are in the same order of magnitude as other sites. However, the biomasses are among the highest so far recorded, reflecting the importance of this area as a hotspot of biomass in the English Channel.

[insu-02524019] Global karst springs hydrograph dataset for research and management of the world’s fastest-flowing groundwater


[hal-02931617] A spatial food web model to investigate potential spillover effects of a fishery closure in an offshore wind farm


[hal-02971720] Extraordinary human energy consumption and resultant geological impacts beginning around 1950 CE initiated the proposed Anthropocene Epoch


[hal-02891616] A new in-field indicator to assess the impact of land management on soil carbon dynamics


[hal-02916254] Long-term spatio-temporal changes of the muddy fine sand benthic community of the Bay of Seine (eastern English Channel)


[hal-02891653] The Rock-Eval® signature of soil organic carbon in arenosols of the Senegalese groundnut basin. How do agricultural practices matter?


[hal-02874549] Benthic foraminifera to assess ecological quality statuses: The case of salmon fish farming


[hal-02949299] Dating saltmarshes using tree rings on a halophilous plant


[hal-02976124] 3D geological modelling of a coastal area: case study of the Vaches Noires Cliffs, Normandy, France




International collaboration (co-authors)



M2C lab. in Caen

Morphodynamique Continentale et Côtière
Université de Caen Normandie (Campus 1)
24 rue des Tilleuls
14000 Caen Cedex

M2C lab. in Rouen

Morphodynamique Continentale et Côtière
Université de Rouen Normandie (bâtiment Blondel Nord)
Place Emile Blondel
76821 Mont-Saint-Aignan Cedex