Nature-Based Coastal Erosion Resilience Thesis


Over the next three months JBP is hosting Michael Thomson, a final year civil engineering student from Griffith University. Michael is undertaking his thesis in Nature-Based Coastal Erosion Resilience, which is a regular component of our international work in coastal risk management, however only receives periodic attention in our Australian projects. Michael is looking for case-studies, designs, costs and even coastal modellers who have tried to quantify the protection that may be offered using nature-based solutions for an open coastline. So please get in touch for more information. Over to you Mike!

My thesis

As a soon-to-be-graduated civil engineer, my interest is in coastal erosion, and the ways in which we can mitigate its effects with non-invasive, nature based (or soft) engineering strategies.

Image above: Erosion of Miami Beach, Gold Coast 2013. ABC News

The Need for Erosion Resilience:

In Australia, beaches are crucial for the tourism industry and a source of national pride. Australia has more than 10,000 beaches with more than 85% of the country’s population living within 50 kilometres of the coast. By the year 2100 sea levels are expected to rise by 0.8m, with increased storm activity, as a result of climate change. Therefore, Australia’s coastal zones must be successfully managed, maintained and protected against severe erosion.

Image above: Erosion protection at Kiribati. Deltares

Report Aims:

My report will combine a literature review and numerical modelling to explore the effects of nature-based dune resilience techniques. We will also be considering ways to perform cost-benefit analyses on soft engineering solutions. We hope this information will inform local councils and government bodies about the effects and advantages of using natural coastal resilience strategies.

Request for information

This is a call to any coastal engineers, managers or conservationists who could contribute case studies, designs, costing estimates, or relevant articles to help with this research.

We will be modelling the effects of vegetation in XBeach (see below example) and are very interested to see if anyone else has done the same. Appropriate thanks and acknowledgments would of course be included in the final report!

Find me at michael.thomson@griffithuni.edu.au

Image above: Modelling coastal vegetation in XBeach


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