Casual model of beach erosion with inland sand transport: Political and urban planning implications
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Psychology and Social Science
This paper describes first stage findings from systems-based research into beach erosion and accretion of the coast near Perth in Western Australia. It presents an alternative explanation that views the coastal hinterland as an ocean-ward travelling dune system with windborne sand transported from inland. The role of built environment in blocking sand transport is included. Issues of scale, politics and urban planning are significant. The majority of Western Australia's populace live in the coast near Perth, and over half this area of coast has similar conditions to those described. Politically and legally, the model redirects responsibility and liability for the costs of coastal repair away from natural events. It suggests that in part, the beach erosion, and its subsequent costs and liabilities, result from local development, particularly of large houses in the close to beach coastal strip. This has liability implications for developers, building owners and planners. In urban planning terms, this implies a different urban planning topology if natural windborne sand transport from inland across the coastal dune system is to be maintained. One possibility is to arrange urban development in east-west strips alternating with significant bands of dune system.