Impacts of Wave Climate on Shoreline Processes
Theatre 2, Basement Level
207 Bouverie Street
207 Bouverie Street
T: 8344 9395
Waves provide an important process of energy transfer at the ocean-land interface. The offshore wave climate and wave interaction with the underlying coastal bathymetry controls sediment movement along a coastline. A change in wave conditions can therefore impact the morphology and evolution of global coastlines across seasonal to millennial scales. In Australia, changes in wave height, direction and storm frequency are predicted in response to shifts in large-scale climate oscillations such as the Southern Annular Mode (SAM) and El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO).
In this presentation, hindcast data is used to analyse the wave climate and storm typology of two Australian settings: (1) the subtropical coastline of Rainbow Beach in southeast Queensland; and (2) the temperate, wave-dominated coast of Victoria. ENSO was found to be an important underlying control on storm frequency and magnitude at Rainbow Beach and can be linked to cyclic erosion/deposition at the shoreline. In Victoria, ENSO was found to be most influential on the east coast while SAM was linked to changes in storm frequency and wave climate in west Victoria. These studies provide important data which can be fed into nearshore models to investigate change in coastal realignment and sediment transport in more detail.
Dr Sarah McSweeney, Lecturer
Dr Sarah McSweeney
School of Geography
Sarah is a coastal geomorphologist specialising in estuary processes and evolution. She completed her PhD at Melbourne University in 2016 looking at entrance processes in estuaries which intermittently close to the ocean. Sarah has recently joined the School of Geography in 2017 from the University of Queensland and is working as a lecturer. While in Queensland, Sarah’s research focused on estuary infill and evolution (Moreton Bay) as well as shoreline response to wave conditions. Her current work looks at beach and estuarine response to change in both contemporary processes and long term climatic variability.