Foredune geomorphology along Ninety Mile Beach
AffiliationSchool of Geography
Document TypeHonours thesis
Access StatusOnly available to University of Melbourne staff and students, login required
Coastal foredunes occur at the boundary between the terrestrial, oceanic and atmospheric systems and therefore have numerous boundary conditions (factors that influence dune development). Dunes provide numerous ecosystem services, primarily protection of the land behind from inundation. Dune morphodynamics are not yet comprehensively understood. Ninety Mile Beach in Gippsland, Victoria provides a unique opportunity to examine dune morphology and its boundary conditions under one continuous stretch of coastline that undergoes a substantial change in orientation. The beach has also been labelled as one of the most vulnerable to climate change in national assessments. Climate change is affecting dune morphology through increased storm activity and sea level rise, therefore understanding the dunal system is increasingly important. This project will analyse and describe foredune geomorphology along this coastline. By measuring dune morphology and the impacts of the boundary conditions of aeolian processes and vegetation. This project aims to create a morphometric model for the foredunes along NMB. This study therefore sets out to explore the morphology of NMB in order to understand its dynamics and provide insights into dune development globally. Varied dune morphology was found along NMB. Coastal orientation and hence wind direction as well as wind velocity were found to be the key drivers of initial foredune development along this coastline with increased onshore and stronger winds leading to dunes greater in area and width. Vegetation controlled morphology was present on three of the eleven sites though no statistically significant correlations were found on this coastline. However, the sites exhibiting vegetation controlled morphology had many stolons present suggesting their importance in stabilising dune morphology along this coastline. NMB dune morphology is dominated by wind. Ultimately, any change in wind regime due to climate change could dramatically effect dune morphology along this coastline.
Keywordsforedunes; morphology; boundary conditions; vegetation; shoreline orientation
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