The tidal inlets of South East Queensland: morphology, manipulation and management

Prof. Rodger Tomlinson1, Ms Ana Paula Silva1

1Griffith University, Southport, Australia


Tidal entrances play a vital role in the exchange of water between coastal lakes, lagoons and rivers and the ocean. They also play a major role in the movement of sediment along our coastline, particularly when artificially managed by the construction of training walls. There are  13 tidal inlets between the Tweed River entrance and Noosa ranging from the broad open expanse of North Passage in Moreton Bay; the trained and artificially bypassed entrances at the Tweed and the Gold Coast Seaway to intermittently open and closed entrance such as Currimundi Lake. Although all within a similar region in terms of wave climate and sediment characteristics, each inlet exhibits somewhat different morphological characteristics due to local topological features, tidal prism, freshwater discharge and artificial manipulation.

In this paper we will provide an overview of the various characteristics of each inlet and identify significant features that impact on the management of both the tidal waterways connected to the inlet and the adjacent beaches.  The impact of climate variability and extremes events will be discussed.


Professor Tomlinson is the City of Gold Coast Professor of Coastal Management and Foundation Director of the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management at the Gold Coast Campus of Griffith University. He has over 35 of experience in applied research and specialist consultancy in the fields of coastal and water engineering.