Australia provides one of the most extensive and diverse tropical-temperate coastal environments in the world. The relatively small community of Australian coastal geomorphologists has used this continent to address a range of issues important to the understanding and management of coastal phenomena. This article reviews the status of Australian coastal geomorphology in 2004, particularly since the publication of the previous overview by Thom (1984). The accompanying articles highlight some of the major coastal research presently underway around the continent and in some of its island territories.

Both field-based and theoretical coastal studies have flourished since 1984. It is now possible to demonstrate how a geographically diverse coastal strip in the antipodes can enrich coastal geomorphology, a subject long dominated by research from North America and Europe. Much of this Australian work has been incorporated into four recent textbooks on beach and coastal systems (Harvey and Caton, 2003;...

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