Skip to main content
Unit of study_

Coastal Environments and Processes - GEOS3009

Year - 2020

The aim of this course is to introduce students to a variety of Coastal Environments and the major processes which control the morphodynamic evolution of these systems. The course offers a unique opportunity of learning the full spectrum of marine sedimentary environments from siliciclastic, temperate, highly urbanised and impacted estuarine ecosystems to carbonate, tropical, pristine and undeveloped/protected coastal and continental margin environments. The course is divided in three sections: Section A covers the basic morphodynamics and processes impacting carbonate-dominated coastal and continental margin environments. The focus is on carbonate reefal and margin systems and their geologic and biologic responses to past, present and future environmental changes; Section B covers the basic morphodynamics of temperate and tropical coasts, including beach morphodynamics and basic knowledge on waves and currents; Section C consolidates all concepts learnt in the previous sections by applying them to numerical modelling. There is a compulsory weekend fieldtrip to the NSW coast to study beach morphodynamics and fieldwork techniques. Depending on the year, there may be a voluntary fieldtrip to a coral reef environment, for example, The University of Sydney One Tree Island Research Station.

Two 1 hour lectures and one 3 hour practical per week; weekend excursion.

One 2 hour exam, research reports and an online quiz (100%)

List of selected readings provided online.


(6 credit points of Intermediate Geoscience units) and (6 further credit points of Intermediate Geoscience or 6 credit points of Physics or Mathematics or Information Technology or Engineering units)


GEOS3909 or MARS3003 or MARS3105


Faculty: Science

Semester 1

24 Feb 2020

Department/School: Geosciences Academic Operations
Study Mode: Normal (lecture/lab/tutorial) day
Census Date: 31 Mar 2020
Unit of study level: Senior
Credit points: 6.0
EFTSL: 0.125
Available for study abroad and exchange: Yes
Faculty/department permission required? No
More details
Unit of Study coordinator: A/Prof Jody Webster, A/Prof Ana Vila-Concejo, Dr Tristan Salles
HECS Band: 2
Courses that offer this unit

Non-award/non-degree study If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student. Cross-institutional study If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to undertake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.