Postgraduate profiles


Moritz Wandres

Phone: (+61 8) 6488 8117


Start date

Jan 2013

Submission date

Jan 2017

Moritz Wandres

Moritz Wandres profile photo


Surface gravity waves and circulation on the Rottnest continental shelf, Western Australia



1) What is the role of wave dissipation over the continental shelf and its influence on the current regime?

2) What are the long term changes in the shelf sea current regime?

3) What is the wave/current induced sediment/nutrient transport across the shelf?

Why my research is important

This study will make a significant contribution to the understanding of the hydrodynamics on continental shelves. The circulation over continental shelves connects the open ocean to the near shore region and is responsible for the transportation of sediments, nutrients, phytoplankton, pollutants, and larvae (Dinniman et al. 2003; Lentz & Fewings 2012). Surface currents driven by tides, buoyant plumes, surface gravity waves, and cross-shelf wind stresses drive the shelf sea circulation and are therefore responsible for buoyant transport (Simpson & Sharples 2012; Lentz & Fewings 2012). Previous studies of the shelf sea circulation take into account wind forcing (Dinniman et al. 2003) and the role of waves on three-dimensional shelf sea circulations has not been addressed before (Lentz & Fewings 2012). Waves induce surface currents and are likely to influence the shelf sea circulation significantly (Ardhuin et al. 2009).

The proposed study will investigate the role of surface gravity waves on the Rottnest continental shelf current regime. The Rottnest continental shelf is constantly exposed to wind and wave forcing (Lemm et al. 1999; Bosserelle et al. 2011) making it ideal for investigating the influence of waves on the shelf circulation. Numerical models, simulating wave-current interactions will be used to evaluate the significance of surface gravity waves on the shelf circulation. The model data will be supported by oceanographic measurements from Argo floats, ocean gliders, HF Radar systems, and oceanographic moorings.


  • Scholarship For International Research Fees (SIRF)
  • University Postgraduate Award International Student (UPAIS)
  • UWA Safety-Net Top-Up Scholarship

ROMS Simulation of the Rottnest continental shelf circulation