School of Civil Engineering

Projects in coastal engineering

Project 1. Study of beach erosion and recovery under storm sequences with tides

Supervisor:             Prof. Tom Baldock t.baldock@uq.edu.au

The response of beaches to storm waves is well known. The response to sequences of storms is less well known and is not easily modelled. The influence of tides is also not usually considered in the laboratory. Simple conceptual models are not consistent with observations but are perhaps valid if used differently. This project aims to test model sand beaches using the new wave flumes in the AEB Hydraulics Laboratory, which now has a tide generation system installed. Model sand beaches will be tested under a range of storm sequences to determine how the sediment transport rates change with the distribution of the storms within the sequence. Bathymetry data will be collected with a new laser sensing system. Prior background in coastal engineering is not essential, but clearly useful.

Project Duration:            This is a 1 or 2 semester project. Available

 

Project 2. Sediment transport on reef-fringed beaches

Supervisor:             Prof. Tom Baldock t.baldock@uq.edu.au

Coral reefs protect many of the world’s beaches, but are subject to degradation through coral loss. In addition, sea level rise reduces the degree of protection afforded by such systems. This project will perform physical experiments in the wave flumes in the Hydraulics laboratory to investigate wave run-up, overwash and sediment transport processes across and behind fringing reef systems. A sandbag and paving stone reef will be constructed on the existing beach face. Water levels and wave conditions will be varied. Data will be collected by wave gauges and current meters, with sediment transport measured through bathymetry changes using a laser-based beach profile system. Prior background in coastal engineering is not essential, but clearly useful. Work will be performed in collaboration with PhD students in the UQ coastal group.

Project Duration:            This is a 1 or 2 semester project. Available

 

Project 3. Measuring waves and wave runup with LIDAR

Supervisor:             Prof. Tom Baldock t.baldock@uq.edu.au

Waves and wave runup are conventiaonally measured with instruments at a point, or via remote sensing using video. Measurements using LIDAR (scanning laser) are being developed for field and laboratory work, and provide high resolution data across a broader spatial scale than conventional isntruments. This project will aim to setup, program and test a LIDAR system for the laboratory wave flumes in the Hydraulics lab in the AEB. One challenge will be obtaining reflections from the clean water surface, and methods to add reflectivity to the water surface may need to be considered. The project offers opportunities in instrumentation, programming, data analysis and coastal engineering. Completion of CIVL4110 is not necessary though since an understanding of wave theory is not required. If undertaking a thesis there are also opportunities to deploy the system in the field with collaborating researchers.

Project Duration:            This is a 1 or 2 semester project. Not Available.

 

Project 4. Ultra-high speed video of the sediment motion at the tip of a dam-break wave or swash flow

Supervisor:             Prof. Tom Baldock t.baldock@uq.edu.au

The motion of the fluid flow and sediment transport at the tip of a dam-break flow or swash (wave runup on a beach) is an important contributor to the total transport, but is very difficult to measure or even visualise with conventional instruments. This project will utilise the ultra-high speed camera in the School of Civil Engineering (105 frames per second) to capture the physics of these flows. Experiments will be conducted in the computer controlled and synchronised dam-break flume in the hydraulics lab using bot fine and coarse sand. Surface elevation and sediment transport rates will be measured using ultrasonic sensors and sediment traps. The project offers opportunities in instrumentation, programming, data analysis and coastal engineering or general sediment transport. Completion of CIVL4110 is not necessary though since an understanding of wave theory is not required.

Project Duration:            This is a 1 or 2 semester project. Not Available.

 

Project 5. Numerical modelling of wave run-up on reef-fringed beaches

Supervisor:             Prof. Tom Baldock t.baldock@uq.edu.au

Coral reefs protect many of the world’s beaches, but are subject to degradation through coral loss. In addition, sea level rise reduces the degree of protection afforded by such systems. This project will undertake numerical modelling using an open source advanced hydrodynamics model to investigate and compare wave transformation and run-up on open coast beaches with beaches protected by reefs. Idealised bathymetry and actual bathymetry from the GBR and laboratory experiments will be used. The project will provide a useful introduction to numerical modelling of nearshore hydrodynamics. Work will be performed in collaboration with PhD students in the UQ coastal group.

Project Duration:            This is a 1 or 2 semester project.  Available.