Year

2019

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences

Abstract

Coastal wetlands are dynamic ecosystems that are threatened by climate change, particularly sea-level rise. Consequently, there is an urgent need to understand the response of coastal wetlands to sea-level rise and apply this knowledge to planning and management. The aim of this thesis is to investigate surface elevation dynamics in coastal wetlands of south-eastern Australia across a range of timescales. The influence of tides on processes contributing to surface elevation change was examined over annual to decadal timescales using the surface elevation table and marker horizon technique (SET-MH). The rate of sediment accumulation in relation to sea-level rise over the past century was quantified using 210Pb dating methods. The distribution of benthic foraminiferal assemblages was examined in surface sediment samples, and this modern analogue was used to reconstruct palaeo-wetland surface elevation and vegetation changes occurring over millennial timescales...

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Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.