Beach Dynamics in Response to Varying Boundary Conditions: The Role of Rocks & Tidal Deltas
AffiliationSchool of Geography
Document TypeMasters Coursework thesis
Access StatusOnly available to University of Melbourne staff and students, login required
© 2020 Stephanie Doumtsis
Climate change induced variations in modal wave conditions as are increasing the rates of beach erosion globally, impacting coastal land use and infrastructure. Current research underpinning coastal management has focused on understanding the response of open-coast sandy beaches to changes in wave and tide conditions. However, current predictive models and understandings of shoreline change do not apply to all beach systems as they ignore the influence of different boundary conditions, such as geological constraints and estuarine processes, on beach dynamics. To create sustainable management plans for coastlines, a comprehensive understanding of shoreline change across different boundary conditions is required. This research aims to understand how annual-decadal scale beach change varies in response to changing boundary conditions, using Inverloch in Victoria (Australia) as a case study site. A combination of modern and historical aerial imagery between 1950-2020 and UAV-derived elevation models, were used calculate the rates and magnitude of shoreline change. Particle size analysis was performed to determine the energy environment and sediment transport pathways within Inverloch. At Inverloch, shoreline change was found to be spatially and temporally variable, with geological controls being a primary factor moderating wave energy and driving alongshore variations in shoreline change. The modern morphology of the Inverloch coastline is inherited from a series of storms in 2012-2013, which removed large volumes of sand from the open coast and into the Inlet. The volume of sediment eroded from the open-coast was found to account for only 1/6th of the total sediment deposited, suggesting that there are additional sediment sources, which are hypothesised to be the flood-tide delta and adjacent barrier island. This research displays the unique morphodynamic behaviour of estuarine and geologically controlled beaches and highlights the potential sediment transport pathways within estuaries, which can be used to refine current models of shoreline change.
KeywordsBeach envelope change; erosion; open-coast; estuary; flood-tide delta; geological controls.
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