Estuarine beach morphology as influenced by geology: an investigation into the morphological history and processes of the St Leonards Coastline
AffiliationSchool of Geography
Document TypeHonours thesis
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© 2019 Jack Lucas
Estuarine beaches are understudied, and consequently, are often managed ineffectively. Due to climatic changes, coastlines are experiencing erosive processes and retreating, placing the communities and ecosystems who rely upon estuarine beaches in a situation of vulnerability. Seeking to add to a growing body of literature regarding the morphodynamic behaviour of estuarine beaches, this thesis researched the morphological history and processes at St Leonards, on the Bellarine Peninsula in Port Phillip Bay (VIC). Attention was given to the historical evolution of the coastline between 1950-2019, and the spatial patterns of this change. More specifically, focus was paid to the morphological impact of a nearshore rocky outcrop situated centrally along the coast. Historical aerial photos, sediment, and beach topography were each examined using a range of field and/or desktop processes. Through these methods, the coastline was observed to be undergoing an overall process of retreat. However, the morphodynamic behaviour of the coastline was non-homogenous and did not occur consistently across a multitude of spatial and temporal scales. The rocky outcrop was also found to influence morphological processes, appearing to protect the coastline from erosion, and promote the accretion of sediment in the direction of longshore drift.
Keywordscoastal erosion; Port Phillip Bay; Bellarine Peninsula; morphodynamics
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