Victoria Chapter

Technical Field Trip: Western Port

Neville Rosengren

That Sinking Feeling… Western Port: highs and lows in a tectonic embayment

The Western Port embayment is generally a low-lying area bounded by the Mornington Peninsula to the west and the South Gippsland highlands to the north and east. The landforms that make up the embayment initiated in response to tectonic activity during the Tertiary, and have developed during periods of both higher and lower sea levels since.

Neville will describe the cultural and natural landscape of this unusual embayment and islands (which could almost have been French), discussing geology and geomorphic processes that have produced the diverse coastal conditions. He will also discuss the environmental issues of the past and now, not to mention (but he will!) the future.

Neville will present on the Western Port embayment on the Thursday evening, and the following Saturday will lead a field trip to selected sites around the western and northern shores of the Bay. The field trip will stop at sites that show the diversity in coastal geology – rock, sand, mud and mangrove.

Field trip attendees should bring high-visibility vests, have solid footwear (we will be walking from the coach to some of the sites), and clothing appropriate for the weather (it could be hot, cold, wet, dry, or all of the above).

Speaker biography

Mr Neville Rosengren is a geomorphologist with 45 years experience in research, teaching and consultancy in Australia and overseas. He has been engaged as a consultant by State and Commonwealth Government agencies, by major private sector environmental consulting firms and was senior environmental consultant to the United Nations University programme on coastal resources management in Indonesia.

His publications in geomorphology cover aspects of coastal, volcanic and mountain environments. He has spent a lot of time around, above and in Western Port since participating in the benchmark ”Shapiro” study in 1972-3. In1984 he published a study of sites of geological and geomorphic significance around Western Port for the (then) Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands. He has long had an active interest in the conservation of geological sites and has published major inventories of sites on a regional and thematic scale. After relinquishing his position as Senior Lecturer in Earth Science (so he could live in New Zealand), Neville is now an Honorary Associate of La Trobe University.

Engineers Australia members participating in AGS technical sessions can record attendance on their personal CPD logs. Members should refer to Engineers Australia CPD policy for details on CPD types, requirements and auditing guidelines.