Coastal erosion and stability

Find out about sea level and sedimentation studies that help the Department of Transport understand how erosion affects the stability of our Western Australian coastal infrastructure.

  Our role

The Department of Transport helps local and state coastal managers protect our environment by providing specialist advice on coastal infrastructure.

We also provide advice on:

  • Hazard risk management.
  • Coastal adaptation.
  • Climate change factors.
  • Coastal infrastructure development.

DoT's Coastal Protection Policy is currently being reviewed to be in line with the newly gazetted State Coastal Planning Policy 2.6. In the meantime please refer to the WAPC State Coastal Planning Policy 2.6.

Opens in a new window Western Australian Planning Commission: State Coastal Planning Policy 2.6

Please contact us for more information and advice.

Street address Postal address Telephone Fax Email

  Dredging and sand bypassing


The Department of Transport conducts dredging works to maintains the navigable channels at key marine facilities.

For more information download the dredging fact sheet below.

Annual sand bypassing

The Department of Transport pumps sand around the Mandurah and Dawesville channels each year to ensure safe navigation while allowing the natural flow to continue along the coast.

For more information refer to the document below.

MAC_IS_DredgingProjectSheet.pdf icon Kb
MAC_R_DawesvilleAnnualSandBypassing.pdf icon Kb
MAC_R_MandurahAnnualSandBypassing.pdf icon Kb
MAC_R_2006ReviewOfTheDawesvilleAndMandurahSandBypassingWorks.pdf icon Kb

  Sea level studies

The Department of Transport has conducted a study of sea level changes for coastal planning purposes, which can be downloaded below.

A decision support tool for estimating sea level rise is also available from the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystem Cooperative Research Centre.

MAC_R_SeaLevelChangeInWesternAustraliaReport.pdf icon Kb
Opens in a new window Antarctic Climate and Ecosystem Cooperative Research Centre

  Coastal studies

The Department of Transport has conducted a number of coastal research projects in Western Australia.

A coastal sediment budget study of the coastal zone off Geraldton was conducted in 2012 by Curtin University for the Department of Transport.

The aim was to get a broader understanding of the local coastal system's geomorphic features and how they affect the production, transport and storage of sediment.

Please download the study below:

MAC_R__GeraldtonEmbaymentsCoastalSedimentBudgetStudy.pdf icon Kb

In 2009, a shoreline movement study was conducted in Rockingham to investigate the history and nature of the shoreline and provide recommendations to protect the dual-use path and camp school facilities around Point Peron.

Please download the study below:

MAC_R_PointPeronRockinghamShorelineMovementStudy.pdf icon Kb

A summary of wave data collected at Rottnest Island between 1994 to 2008 has been prepared.

Please download the study below:

MAC_R_RottnestWaveDataSummary1994-2008.pdf icon Kb

  Coastal sediment cells

Marine: Sediment regions map

The Department of Transport and the Geological Survey of WA have conducted several studies of coastal sediment cells for 4 of the 13 Coastal Regions. These include the Vlamingh, Mid-West, Northampton and Pilbara region.

The aim was to identify a hierarchy of sediment cells for planning, management, engineering, science and governance of the WA coast. Sediment cells can be used to:

  • Conceptualise the spatial context for coastal evaluations.
  • Provide a visual framework for communicating about the coast.
  • Support coastal management decision making.
  • Support a range of technical uses largely relating to coastal stability assessment.
  • Reduce problems caused by selection of arbitrary or jurisdictional boundaries.

For an overview of the project please download the summary below.

MAC-P-SedimentCellsWA.pdf icon Kb

Full reports and the spatial data sets can be downloaded below. (You will need to download Google Earth to view the spatial data set).

MAC-R-MidWest-CoastalSedimentCellsL.pdf icon Kb
MAC-R-MidWest-CoastalSedimentCellsH.pdf icon Kb
MAC-R-Northampton-CoastalSedimentCellsL.pdf icon Kb
MAC-R-Northampton-CoastalSedimentCellsH.pdf icon Kb
MAC-R-Pilbara_CoastalSedimentCellsL.pdf icon Kb
MAC-R-Pilbara_CoastalSedimentCellsH.pdf icon Kb
MAC_R_CoastalSedimentCellsReport.pdf icon Kb icon Kb
Opens in a new window Google: Google Earth
External Link Google: WA sediment cells spatial browser

  Geology, geomorphology and vulnerability studies

In 2012, Damara WA Pty Ltd and the Geological Survey of WA were commissioned to study the geology, geomorphology and vulnerability of various coastal shires in Western Australia.

The aim of the studies was to identify sediment cells that could affect land use decisions for the development of the area.

Shires of Coorow and Northampton

Please download the study below:

MAC_R_ShiresOfCoorowAndNorthamptonSummaryReport.pdf icon Kb
MAC_R_ShiresOfCoorowAndNorthamptonFullReport.pdf icon Kb

Please download the study below:

MAC_R_ShiresOfGinginAndDandaraganSummaryReport.pdf icon Kb
MAC_R_ShiresOfGinginAndDandaraganFullReport.pdf icon Kb

Please download the study below:

MAC_R_ShiresOfSharkBayAndExmouthSummaryReport.pdf icon Kb
MAC_R_ShiresOfSharkBayAndExmouthFullReport.pdf icon Kb

Shire of Ashburton, East Pilbara, Roebourne and the Town of Port Hedland

The Western Australian Planning Commission commissioned Damara Pty Ltd to prepare the Geology, Geomorphology and Vulnerability of the Pilbara Coast report to provide a technical assessment of geomorphic vulnerability of the Pilbara coast.

Opens in a new window Department of Planning: Pilbara coast geology geomorphology and vulnerability

  Coastal adaptation and protection (CAP) grants

The Department of Transport's Coastal Adaptation and Protection (CAP) grants program helps fund expensive coastal management works undertaken by local and State agencies.

Please go to the Coastal adaptation and protection (CAP) grants page for more information.

  Links and resources

The Department of Planning website has a list of coastal vulnerability studies being undertaken in Western Australia.

Please also download our guide on How to photo monitor beaches below, which can help coastal managers better understand the changes going on in their beaches.

MAC_IS_HowToPhotoMonitorBeaches.pdf icon Kb
Opens in a new window Western Australian Planning Commission: Coastal vulnerability

  Coastal erosion and stability: Documents


Page last updated: Fri Apr 15 2016 2:34:51 PM