Shoreline Responses

BMT WBM undertakes assessments of likely future responses of coastal shorelines subject to erosion and recession over the short and longer term.

This is particularly during extreme storm wave and water level events and where there are changes. Climate change factors including sea level rise will have major impacts on the shoreline and we have developed innovative modelling capabilities to predict those impacts.

Recent Relevant Projects

NSW Coastal Zone Climate Change Impact Study (NSW)

The former NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) commissioned BMT WBM to undertake a study assessing the likely impacts of climate change on the coastal zone for two selected case study locations, Wooli Wooli and Batemans Bay. The rationale and methods adopted in the study have provided a benchmark for future studies of this nature in NSW and elsewhere. The shoreline impacts of future changes in wave climate and water level, defined by the CSIRO, were assessed using computer modelling techniques for a 100 year timeframe using a probabilistic risk-based framework, defined and documented in GIS format.

Byron Bay Erosion Processes (NSW)

Byron Bay beach experiences substantial long term recession that threatens adjacent development and has led to construction of seawall protection.  Future sea level rise is likely to add to the erosion risks.  BMT WBM undertook the Coastline Hazard Assessment Study and subsequent Coastline Management Study for the whole shire, identifying the processes and shoreline changes affecting the beach system.  The local historical and projected future impacts on the shoreline associated with sand losses and seawalls at Byron Bay have been investigated using photogrammetric data and innovative research-based modelling that caters for the cross-embayment and longshore sand transport together with sea level rise effects.

Modelling Shoreline Response to Sea Level Rise (National)

Research and development on modelling of ocean shoreline responses to the projected future sea level rise has been undertaken by BMT WBM in conjunction with the University of Queensland as part of Masters and Doctoral study projects.  Three new modelling systems have been established and applied successfully to coastline process and management study investigations undertaken for local authorities throught NSW and Queensland.  The modelling identifies the complexity of the shoreline response particularly where there is longshore sand transport with controlling headlands and coastal structures, overcoming the weakness of the commonly used ‘Bruun Rule’.