Coastal regions are among the most densely populated areas in the world, and there have been many detailed investigations into how these regions change in response to wave forcing. Sandy beaches in temperate settings have received considerable attention in this field, and the processes that govern changes in these regions are generally well defined. However, the precise nature of wave energy change and associated shoreline adjustment in tropical to subtropical regions is still largely undefined. In addition, the role of large scale ocean-atmosphere variability (e.g. El Niño/Southern Oscillation) in the modification of coastal wave regimes is of increasing concern to coastal stability. An abundance of measured ocean data accompanied by a multi-decadal dataset of coastal aerial photography and satellite imagery in Queensland will be utilised to quantify coastal change along the eastern coastline.

Growing populations in tropical regions around the globe, and a lack of understanding of the long-term morphological evolution of tropical coasts, can lead to poor management of economically and culturally significant existing coastal systems. This project aims to address this problem and construct a process-response framework for the tropical to subtropical eastern coastline of Queensland over an interannual to multi-decadal scale, with a focus on wave energy (process), shoreline changes (response) and the role of large scale climate drivers in modifying wave generation and transformation.

Advisors: Dr Daniel Harris, Professor Jamie Shulmeister 

Funding: Research Training Program

Project members

Dylan COWLEY

PhD Candidate