A small team of researchers have been tasked with improving our short to mid-term shoreline predictions.


Equipped with cameras, sensors and radars, the joint CSIRO,  Meteorology and Royal Australian Navy research group aims to provide forecasts of ocean currents and eddies, and surface and subsurface ocean properties.


"Ultimately, we are trying to build a capability to forecast changes in surf zone sand bars and gutters as sea, wind and wave conditions change," says CSIRO's Dr Graham Symonds.


Dr Symonds said Australia's beaches and shorelines are continually changing with varying wave conditions and sea level.


He said regular beach goers would be familiar with changes in beach shape and shoreline position, for example erosion following storms, or rocky sections exposed during winter and covered with sand during summer. Long term residents may be aware of progressive changes in their local beach over periods of many years.


"In the face of changing sea level, the effects of potential inundation and coastal erosion will continue to be a focus of coastal councils and communities for the foreseeable future.


"Our intention is to harness the data we are acquiring here at Secret Harbour and construct a computer model capable of predicting beach shape and shoreline position under the full range of wave conditions."


"There's an immediate application for this research by the Royal Australian Navy with amphibious landings, however it can also be applied to improve beach safety, monitoring coastal erosion and understanding of how beaches might respond to climate change," said Dr Symonds.