Riding the waves for coastal science

Office of Environment and Heritage coastal and marine scientists are working to improve our understanding of coastal waves and hazards throughout NSW by measuring and modelling waves as they travel from the deep ocean to the coast.

Bright yellow wave buoy deployed off the NSW coast

OEH scientists are working with the Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS) to deploy wave buoys off NSW beaches and rocky shores. These bright yellow buoys bob up and down on the ocean surface and measure how wave height, period and direction changes as waves approach the coast.

The distinctive underwater topography at each NSW beach influences waves as they approach the coast, and conditions at one beach may be very different from the next, even at the same time. The buoys measure waves before they break on beaches and impact our coastal environments. The research aims to understand why some locations are more sensitive to waves and coastal hazards than others.

Come along for the ride on RV Bombora with OEH scientist Dr Michael Kinsela to learn more about this collaboration between OEH and our SIMS partners including UNSW Water Research Laboratory.

Learn more about how we measure ocean and coastal waves.