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Geomorphology report on coastal erosion at the Detention River estuary, Hellyer, North-West Tasmania


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Ellison, JC, White, M, Poole, M, Beasy, KM ORCID: 0000-0002-5998-1419, McNab, S and Walford, H 2010 , Geomorphology report on coastal erosion at the Detention River estuary, Hellyer, North-West Tasmania.

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Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.


The western bank of the Detention River estuary has in the last few years suffered erosion owing to the active estuarine channel meandering to the west. The main estuarine channel was located in the centre of the estuary from 1971 to 1997 at least, and has moved west after 2004 following increased sand deposition in the mouth. Human activity in the area is further exacerbating the erosion problem, and fallen trees also contribute to sediment erosion. Erosion at this site is not primarily caused by rise in sea-level, though it exemplifies the types of impacts that widespread coastal areas in Tasmania will experience in coming decades.
Recommendations to mitigate this erosion problem must be agreed by stakeholders involved, and options include restriction of public access, further removal of large woody debris at the base of the erosion scarp, increasing the sheer strength of the erosion bank by control of runoff and revegetation, and boat wake restriction in the estuary. These actions would all decrease erosive forces at the site. Subject to EIA approval and supervision by a hydraulic engineer this geomorphologists’ report can also support the option of reconstruction of the central estuary main channel at its position around 1988 to 1997, to relieve flow at the erosion site. This might include the option of subsequent beach replenishment of the erosion site, though involving no hard structures. Further investigation particularly including GIS analysis and site monitoring should also be carried out.

Item Type: Report (Project Report)
Authors/Creators:Ellison, JC and White, M and Poole, M and Beasy, KM and McNab, S and Walford, H
Publisher: University of Tasmania
Additional Information:

This report is provided Gratis to State Government,
by staff and students of the
School of Geography and Environmental Studies,
University of Tasmania

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