Toward national coastal water quality forecasts in Australia

Emlyn Jones1

CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Hobart, Tasmania1


Many of the issues surrounding marine management of the coastal zone relate to water quality. If numerical models are to assist in management strategies revolving around compliance and response, it is essential that the models are capable of predicting water circulation, sediment transport and biogeochemical processes. CSIRO Oceans and Atmospheres have taken the first steps in developing such systems through the eReefs partnership, where models spanning circulation, sediment transport and biogeochemistry have been constructed for the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) at 4km and 1km scales, capable of forecasts out to 4 days, within which nested high resolution models (RECOM) can capture fine scale estuary, bay and reef dynamics. These models explicitly account for freshwater, sediment and nutrient inputs from catchments and subsequently predict the response of the GBR lagoon. In this presentation we demonstrate the performance and products of the multi-disciplinary eReefs models, and project on how such a system could be developed and applied nationally to allow coastal managers a real-time 3D view of water quality around the Australian coastline.

Evidence of stable and changing shoreline behaviours from Tasmania: early vs. late responders to sea-level rise?

Mr Christopher Sharples1

1University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia


The approximately 21 centimetres of global mean sea-level rise that has occurred over the last century could in principle have caused some soft shorelines to erode and recede by distances in the order of 10 to 20 metres.  However it appears to be widely assumed that whilst this will ultimately occur, it is likely to be some decades before clear physical shoreline responses to sea-level rise will be distinguishable from the “noise” of the many other coastal processes that also drive soft shoreline behaviour.  Historical studies of the behaviour of soft Tasmanian shorelines over the 70 year period for which repeated air photo imagery is now available demonstrates that while many soft sandy shores are not showing any significant long-term (multi-decadal) departures from cyclic erosion and recovery behaviour as yet, a smaller number have undergone significant long-term changes (to progressive and accelerating recessional behaviour) that are consistent with expected responses to sea-level rise and climate change (including increasing local wind-wave generation), and which are not readily accounted for in other ways.  Work in progress is endeavouring to test the hypothesis that certain types of coastal process environments may allow early morpho-dynamic responses to sea-level rise whilst other ‘late responder’  environments will only show clear physical responses to sea-level rise over longer time frames.  Improved capacity to identify early and late responding coastal environments will be of great value in planning for coastal sea-level rise adaptation.


Chris Sharples is a a consulting geologist who has specialised in geomorphology for nearly thirty years and has had a focus on coastal geomorphology for nearly twenty of those.  He is currently endeavouring to use a full-time PhD candidature as an opportunity to focus on the identification of sea-level rise impacts on coastal landforms.

A numerical study on beach cross-shore profiles response to storms and sea level rise

Nghi H. Trana,b,*, A. Vila-Concejoa, T. Sallesa, R. J McCarolla

a: Geocoastal Research Group, School of Geosciences, The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia

b: Faculty of Civil Engineering, Water Resources University, Hanoi, Vietnam

*Corresponding author:

E-mail address:


This study focuses on how the iconic Bondi beach in Sydney may change under the impact of potential storms and forecasted sea level rise.  We use the open-source model, XBeach (Roelvink et al., 2009), to investigate these impacts focusing on beach erosion and cross-shore profile changes. At first, the model is setup to simulate beach response to a past storm event that impacted the beach 12-August-2012. We use survey measurements obtained before and after the storm to calibrate the model. Finally, we use the calibrated model to predict beach response (erosion volumes and cross-shore profile changes) to different potential scenarios of storm power and predicted sea level rise in 2050 and 2100.

Key words: XBeach; beach and dune erosion; numerical model; sea level rise; cross-shore sediment transport


-Bachelor of Engineering, 2006, National University of Civil Engineering, Vietnam (Ports and Waterways Construction);

-Master of Engineering, 2010, The University of Tokyo (Coastal Engineering);

-PhD student, 2016-now, The University of Sydney;

-Lecturer at Water Resources University, Vietnam

About the Association

The Australian Coastal Society (ACS) was initiated at the Coast to Coast Conference in Tasmania in 2004. The idea was floated as a means for those interested in coastal matters to communicate between conferences and where possible take resolutions of the conference to appropriate levels of government.

The idea was discussed further at the Coast to Coast Conference in Melbourne in 2006 and it was agreed that Bruce Thom develop a constitution of a company limited by guarantee that would operate on a national basis.

This plan was accomplished and in 2008 at the Coast to Coast Conference in Darwin the constitution was ratified and an Executive appointed. The company received charitable status in 2011.

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