ICCE 2022

How to Cite

HYDRODYNAMIC CLASSIFICATION OF ESTUARIES: CHALLENGES AND ALTERNATE APPROACHES. (2023). Coastal Engineering Proceedings, 37, sediment.76. https://doi.org/10.9753/icce.v37.sediment.76


Globally, estuaries are environments that are under increasing stressors from dense populations, pollutants, and changing ecosystems with pressures only likely to increase with climate change. Estuaries are systems with widely variable morphology that are typically spatially vast and highly dynamic, hence site-specific investigation is often costly and practically challenging. As such, conceptual approaches that allow the translation of information from one estuary to another due to similar classifications in conceptual models are widely used for management purposes. This paper will use case study examples to identify challenges associated with the current categorical estuary classification schemes and suggest alternate approaches that capture the varying dynamics of the full spectrum of estuary systems.


Boyd, Dalrymple, Zaitlin (1992), Classification of clastic coastal depositional environments, Sedimentary Geology, 80, 139–150.

Broadfoot (2020): Tidal Dynamics and Morphology of Riverine Estuaries in NSW, BSc (Hons) Thesis, University of Newcastle, 121 pp.

Hanslow, Morris, Foulsham, Kinsela (2018): A Regional Scale Approach to Assessing Current and Potential Future Exposure to Tidal Inundation in Different Types of Estuaries, Scientific Reports, 8(1), 7065.

Roper et al. (2011): Assessing the condition of estuaries and coastal lake ecosystems in NSW, Monitoring, evaluation and reporting program, Technical report series, Office of Environment and Heritage, Sydney.

Roy (1984): New South Wales Estuaries - their origin and evolution. In: Thom, (ed.) Developments in Coastal geomorphology in Australia. Academic Press, Sydney, 99-121.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2023 Hannah E. Power, Madelaine S. S. Broadfoot, Karen Palmer, David J. Hanslow