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.
External Link Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage: WA Coastal Zone Strategy
Opens in a new window Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage: State Coastal Planning Policy 2.6

Please contact us for more information and advice.

Street address Postal address Telephone Fax Email
Email

  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.

Visit the Coastal adaptation and protection (CAP) grants page for more information.

  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.

  Coastal studies

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

Design event selection for erosion hazard assessments: West and South coast of WA

The purpose of this study is to provide regionally appropriate recommendations to aid the assessment of coastal erosion risk for South West WA. It has been prepared to support application of the design storm approach to coastal hazard assessment following the Western Australian State Planning Policy 2.6: State Coastal Planning Policy.

This study was commissioned by the Department of Transport to assist coastal managers and may be a useful reference source for general coastal practitioners in Western Australia.

Please download the document below:

Design storms for Western Australian coastal planning: Tropical cyclones

This document is currently under revision, primarily for townsites from Augusta to Kalbarri. To request a copy of the report or for advice in the interim please contact coastalmanagement@transport.wa.gov.au 

Local coastal hazard assessment: Generic scope

This generic scope of works has been developed to assist responsible coastal managers to predict in detail and quantify coastal hazard in a location where existing development is at risk of being affected within 25 years.

Please download the document below:

  Two Rocks summer wrack accumulation study

The Department of Transport conducted an assessment of excess wrack accumulation at Two Rocks southern beaches during summer.

The Two Rocks fixed monitoring camera was used to identify rare occasions where accumulated seagrass and seaweed wrack cleared from the beach naturally during the problematic summer season. The study goal was to identify specific combinations of tides, winds, currents, and waves in summer that coincided with wrack clearing in the photo record.

City of Wanneroo were closely consulted in this investigation. Windows of promising tidal conditions for wrack clearing were identified, assisting the City's planned wrack management trials in summer 2020/21. After sourcing all required permits, the City later planned to begin wrack management trials in 2021/22 instead.

  Assessment of Coastal Erosion Hotspots in Western Australia

In a national first, a state-wide assessment of the extent and scale of coastal erosion has been undertaken in Western Australia.

The Assessment of Coastal Erosion Hotspots in WA identifies 55 locations 15 metropolitan and 40 regional where coastal erosion is expected to have a significant impact on public and private property or infrastructure in the next 25 years.

The assessment was commissioned by the State Government and undertaken by Seashore Engineering Pty Ltd.

The information sheet provided below outlines the findings and recommended actions. Detailed profiles for each hotspot are available in the assessment at Appendix D.

What is a coastal erosion hotspot?

A hotspot is a location where coastal erosion is expected to have a significant impact on public and private property or infrastructure, including houses, roads and recreational facilities, in the next 25 years.

How many hotspots were identified?

The assessment identified 55 coastal erosion hotspots (15 in the Perth metropolitan area and 40 regional) spanning 29 local government areas.

An additional 31 locations (8 metropolitan, 23 regional) have been placed on a watch-list for future monitoring and investigation.

Are any of the hotspots in my local government area?

A map of all hotspots is available on page three of the Coastal erosion hotspots in Western Australia Information Sheet or on page vii of the full report, available for download below. Detailed profiles for each hotspot are available in the assessment at Appendix D, from page 77.

Why was the assessment undertaken?

The assessment was commissioned to help evaluate the scale and extent of coastal erosion in Western Australia and demonstrate how the risk to the natural and man-made environment at each location is expected to increase over time.

By better understanding risk, local coastal managers can make informed decisions that support sustainable land use and development.

What are the next steps?

While there is no one size fits all approach to managing coastal erosion the outcomes of this study will help to refine coastal management strategies.

The Government, through the departments of Transport, and Planning, Lands and Heritage, will continue to support local governments and coastal managers adapting to the challenges of coastal erosion.

For more information or if you have any questions, contact us on the details below.

Street address Postal address Telephone Fax Email
        Email

  Coastline movement data

The Department of Transport expanded the state-wide dataset of historical coastline movements between 2016 and 2018, with additional updates added again up to 2020. The data will assist coastal managers, planners and developers throughout the State. The Department also created an animated user guide and technical report as part of the project.

  Coastal sediment cells

Marine: Sediment regions map
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.

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

Opens in a new window Google: Google Earth

  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:

Please download the study below:

Please download the study below:

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, Lands and Heritage

  Dredging and sand bypassing

Dredging

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.

  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.

Opens in a new window Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage

  Coastal erosion and stability: Documents

Page last updated: Tue Aug 3 2021 8:27:45 AM