Hot off the press! Limited recovery measured on beaches in estuaries and bays years after severe erosion

This international collaboration, published in the journal Earth Surface, Process and Landforms, includes the GRG’s own Ana Vila Concejo and Tommy Fellowes together with GRG international collaborators Shari Gallop from Waikato University (New Zealand), John Largier from University of California Davis (USA) and Maryam Rahbani from Hormozgan University (Iran), who just spent a few months working with us at the GRG in Sydney (we miss you Maryam!).

Gallop, S. L., Vila‐Concejo, A., Fellowes, T. E., Harley, M. D., Rahbani, M., and Largier, J. L. (2020) Wave direction shift triggered severe erosion of beaches in estuaries and bays with limited post‐storm recovery. Earth Surf. Process. Landforms,

Key findings of this paper:

  • Beaches in estuaries and bays have their own unique behaviours compared to open-coast beaches
  • High-intensity storm waves can penetrate into estuaries and bays with up to 100% of beach volume lost to single events.
  • A lack of modal beach-building waves in estuaries and bays limit recovery rates when compared to open coast beaches
  • Shifts in storm wave directions need to be considered for long-term estuarine and bay beach resilience

This paper is an outcome of the Partnership Collaboration Award between Sydney University and The University of California Davis and provides insights into the behaviour of beaches in estuaries and bays (BEBs), which cannot be considered scale-down versions of open-ocean beaches. This research builds on the recent book chapter in Sandy Beach Morphodynamics of beaches in estuaries and bays (BEBs) and includes data from Kamay (Botany Bay) and the Pittwater since 2015-2016, including the effects of the large storm that affected the SE coast of Australia in June 2016


– Tommy and Ana


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