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Book Chapter

The rock coast of Australia

By
David M. Kennedy
David M. Kennedy
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Published:
January 01, 2014

Abstract

The rocky coast of Australia has been the focus of scientific enquiry since Charles Darwin visited Sydney during the voyage of the Beagle (1831–1836). As the philosophy of geomorphological enquiry has evolved from Davisian landscape theory to modern questions of landscape response to climate change, so has the understanding of Australian shore platforms. Early work was focused on penultimate levels of coastal planation; however, the majority of research has focused on the balance between marine and subaerial erosion in forming shore platforms. As field instrumentation has advanced there has been a greater variety of data available to researchers which has led to studies of microerosion and the distribution of wave energy across platform surfaces. Platforms formed in Quaternary carbonates and volcanics as well as Mesozoic sediments have been the focus of research. Those found in softer carbonates form closer to low-tide level while those in resistant basalt form at high-tide elevation. Rock hardness and structure are the primary drivers of platform morphology; however at an individual field site the surface morphology, such as the presence of a ramp, will be determined by the balance between wave and subaerial processes as well as local variations in lithology.

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Contents

Geological Society, London, Memoirs

Rock Coast Geomorphology: A Global Synthesis

D.M. Kennedy
D.M. Kennedy
The University of Melbourne, Australia
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W. J. Stephenson
W. J. Stephenson
University of Otago, New Zealand
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L. A. Naylor
L. A. Naylor
University of Glasgow, UK
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Geological Society of London
Volume
40
ISBN electronic:
9781862397002
Publication date:
January 01, 2014

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