Research

Nearshore hydrodynamics and sediment dynamics

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Ningaloo Reef surf zone at low tide
Kimberley reef at ebb tide
Sandy beach dynamics (Secret Harbour, WA)

Wave-dominated reefs

This research involves improving our process-understanding of the dynamics of wave transformation and wave-driven circulation within a broad range of coastal reef systems. For many coral and temperate rocky reef systems, the hydrodynamic forcing by incident swell waves drives mean water level variability (wave setup), mean currents, as well as excites lower frequency wave motions (infragravity waves).  This coastal response is largely shaped by the interactions between the hydrodynamic forcing and the complex morphology and bottom roughness characteristics of a reef. To investigate these dynamics, major reef field programs have been established on wave-dominated reef systems in Ningaloo Reef (Australia), the temperate reef systems along Western Australia, and in Hawaii.

Macrotidal reefs

The remote Kimberley region in northwestern Australia experiences the largest tides of any tropical region in the world (in excess of 10 m). Research is investigating how these extreme tides interact with the morphology of reef terraces to control water level variability, circulation and flushing, and heat budgets within these macrotidal reef environments.

Beach processes and sediment transport

Research is being conducted to investigate the nearshore hydrodynamics, sediment transport and morphodynamics of sandy beaches along the coast of Western Australia. Many of these beaches are influenced by a patchy network fringing and offshore rocky reef systems. These reefs influence the shoreline (swash zone) processes and rates of coastal erosion (over seasonal to decadal time scales).

Numerical modelling of waves and coastal circulation

Ningaloo shelf model (ROMS)
Kaneohe Bay residence times (Delft3D)
Infragravity wave bed stresses (XBeach)

 Circulation and wave modelling

 Coupled physical-biogeochemical modelling

Laboratory physical modelling (flume) experiments

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Biophysical interactions in coastal environments

Kimberley seagrass meadow
Ningaloo reef communities
Field portable flume at Ningaloo Reef

Coastal and shelf processes

Ningaloo shelf mooring deployment
AIMS R/V Solander in the Kimberley
Walcott Inlet, the Kimberley coast

Canopy flow and boundary layer processes

Wave canopy flow field study
Coral skeletons in wave flume
Boundary layer study, Hawaii

Renewable wave energy

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