Application of Geoscience Australia’s national DEA Coastlines product; a geomorphic overview

Nanson R1, Bishop-Taylor R1, Sagar S1, Lymburner L1

1Geoscience Australia


The world’s clastic shorelines have been net-eroding over the last century and are forecast to respond to ongoing climate change by continued reorganisation towards new quasi-equilibrium states. Australia’s vast (30,000 km) and geomorphically diverse shoreline is also changing, and national perspectives on the magnitude and trajectories of these adjustments are required to better inform their management.  Analyses of spatially and temporally expansive remote sensing archives are increasingly being applied to meet this need. Geoscience Australia’s Digital Earth Australia Coastlines (DEA Coastlines) is a new national scale product that applies sub-pixel analysis techniques to the Landsat archive to produce annual mean sea level (coastline) contours for the entire continent, for each year from 1988 to the present. A point dataset distributed along the modern coast contains statistics describing the movements between these annual contours, and can be used to interrogate temporal and spatial patterns of change. We demonstrate the geomorphic application of DEA Coastlines to representative case examples that span the mangrove-fringed, macrotidal systems of NW Australia, to the microtidal clastic barrier systems of SE Australia. These applications are presented at a range of scales, and demonstrate the products ability to identify regional sensitivities and future management challenges.


Dr Rachel Nanson is a geomorphologist with experience in both theoretical and applied environmental research. Rachel specialises in geomorphic analyses of rivers, coasts and marine environments, and is presenting today on the application of a novel remote sensing product to recent historic geomorphic interpretations of Australia’s coastal zone, for the purpose of improved coastal hazard identification and quantification.