Coastal zones cover a diverse range of coastal ecosystems within marine, estuarine, and freshwater environments. These zones are some of the most heavily populated and visited areas on the planet and they are also some of the most threatened environments. Coastal zones are critically important not only to the people who live there but to the health of the planet.
A changing climate, warmer waters, rising sea levels, tropical cyclones, and coastal erosion are just some of the elements impacting coastal communities worldwide and transforming coastal environments. Coastal hazards such as storm events with associated storm surges are increasing in frequency and intensity, as are marine heatwaves that devastate coral reefs. Human activities like land reclamation, overfishing, dredging, and the construction of shipping ports are also responsible for coastal pollution and degradation. The potential coastal impacts are varied and can include damage to estuarine and marine environments and a loss of coastal biodiversity, or erosion—causing permanent changes to the coastline.
Researchers at UNSW Canberra are playing a vital role in developing strategies to manage coastal changes and protect coastal systems for future generations. Our research focuses on the observation and numerical modelling of coastal environments and sea-level changes due to the impacts of climate change, anthropogenic interventions and mesoscale atmospheric modelling of landfalling tropical cyclones. This research supports sustainable development and improves the management of coastal zones both in Australia and worldwide.
Our research is conducted through two main research groups:
Our research covers:
DS Byun, XH Wang and PE Holloway, 2004, Tidal characteristic adjustment due to dyke and seawall construction in the Mokpo Coastal Zone, Korea. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 59 (2), 185-196
D Song, XH Wang, X Zhu and X Bao, 2013, Modeling studies of the far-field effects of tidal flat reclamation on tidal dynamics in the East China Seas. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 133, 147-160
XH Wang and N Pinardi, 2002, Modeling the dynamics of sediment transport and resuspension in the northern Adriatic Sea. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 107 (C12), 18-1–18-23
XH Wang, 2002, Tide-induced sediment resuspension and the bottom boundary layer in an idealized estuary with a muddy bed. Journal of Physical Oceanography 32 (11), 3113-3131
F Zhang, XH Wang, PALD Nunes and C Ma, 2015, The recreational value of gold coast beaches, Australia: An application of the travel cost method Ecosystem Services 11, 106-114
G. D. Gao, X. H. Wang, D. Song, X. Bao, B. S. Yin, D. Z. Yang, Y. Ding, H. Li, F. Hou, Z. Ren, 2018, Effects of wave-current interactions on suspended-sediment dynamics during strong wave events in Jiaozhou Bay, Qingdao, China, Journal of Physical Oceanography
Z. Huang and X. H. Wang, 2019, Mapping the spatial and temporal variability of the upwelling systems of the Australian south-eastern coast using 14-year of MODIS data. Remote Sensing of Environment. 227, 90-109
I. Jalón-Rojas, X.H. Wang and E. Fredj, 2019, A 3D numerical model to Track Marine Plastic Debris (TrackMPD): sensitivity of microplastics trajectories and fate to particle dynamical properties and physical processes, Marine Pollution Bulletin, 141, 256-272.
X. H. Wang, Y. X. Gao, Q. Wang, T. He, W. Guan and F. Chai, 2019, Recent Development in Coastal Oceanography – Physics, Biology and their Interactions. Encyclopedia of Water: Science, Technology, and Society. ISBN: 978-1-119-30075-5, John Wiley & Sons
Yue Ma, Nan Xu, Zhen Liu, Bisheng Yang, Fanlin Yang, Xiao Hua Wang, Song Li, 2020, Satellite-derived bathymetry using the ICESat-2 lidar and Sentinel-2 imagery datasets. Remote Sensing of Environment