Beach profile change on the eastern beaches of Port Darwin 1996-2001

  • Patrick Joseph Gray

    Student thesis: Coursework Masters - CDU


    The purpose of this research was to increase the understanding of shoreline movement on low wave, tide dominated beaches by comparing patterns of change from detailed profile data collected biannually against climatic and oceanographic data.

    Research methodologies adopted were divided into two broad areas: beach profiles and morphology; and climate and oceanography. The first data set was a compilation of beach profile measurements, dating from April 1996 to October 2001. These were analysed to identify patterns of shoreline movement and volumetric change on the eastern beaches of Port Darwin. The second data set, comprising climatic and oceanographic records from 1990 to 2001, were compiled into a time series format to assist in highlighting possible causes of beach change.

    The beaches were classified as low energy, tide dominated environments. Both Mindil and Casuarina Beach were identified as an ultra-dissipative beach type, whilst Vesteys Beach reflective low tide terrace.

    The eastern beaches of Port Darwin are subject to distinct seasonal conditions, that is the wet and dry seasons. The study found that seasonal fluctuations brought about changes to beach morphology, although the extent and type of change was highly variable. The beaches within Fannie Bay, Mindil and Vesteys Beach, reacted differently to the same climatic and oceanographic conditions, when compared to Casuarina Beach. High tide and storm activity brought about periods of erosion and accretion, although in most cases the effects of particular storms could not be identified from profile and monthly mean data.
    Date of AwardAug 2002
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorI Eliot (Supervisor) & Penny Wurm (Supervisor)

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