UC SPARK - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Dr Deirdre Erin Hart


Fields of Research

  • Coastal and fluvial
  • Multi-hazards
  • Physical geography, coastal oceanography and engineering
  • Temperate and tropical coasts, NZ, Korea, Pacific

Researcher Summary

Deirdre researches the physical, biological and human (including built environments) processes and interactions in coastal environments via an approach that is fundamentally multi-disciplinary. She is also passionate about the dissemination of coastal science through education, informed management, and community engagement. Her research and teaching interests include temperate and tropical coastal and river-mouth science, engineering and management, in New Zealand, Korea, Italy and the USA. Deirdre employs a range of techniques from field, to laboratory and numerical and theoretical modelling. She is interested in supervising Masters and PhD projects that align closely with her coastal/ multi-hazard research interests, including on river mouths, high-energy coasts, mudflats, reef sediments, pocket beaches and urban multi-hazards such as flooding and earthquake effects.

Subject Area: Disciplines

Research Projects

Research Groups

Future Research

  • Understanding coastal-river interface environments for improved management
  • Multi-hazard interactions in coastal, river and low-lying environments
  • Pocket beach systems
  • Coastal responses to climate and water level (including tidal) changes
  • Quantifying links between low island ecology, sediments and hydrodynamics

Key Methodologies

  • environmental observation, data analysis, lab and fieldwork, numerical modelling, geo-spatial technologies
  • theoretical and applied methodology development


Student Supervision

Displaying all items.
  • PhD - Measures R: Mixed sand and gravel river mouth lagoon dynamics: Hapua
  • PhD - Prana A: Supporting communities to adapt to living in flooding environments in Jakarta, Indonesia. (2019)
  • PhD - Thi Do H: Monitoring and evaluation of water-related climate change adaptation interventions in Vietnam (2018)
  • Masters - Holland D: Earthquake Flood Multihazards Analysis of Stormwater Systems
  • Masters - Macdonald K: Multi-hazard assessment: methodology development via a delta city case study (2018)
  • Masters - Steenson M: Community engagement in coastal planning and management. (2012)
  • Completed
  • PhD - Dawe I: Longshore sediment transport on a mixed sand and gravel lakeshore. (2006)
  • PhD - Idrus R: Hard habits to break : investigating coastal resource utilisations and management systems in Sulawesi, Indonesia. (2009)
  • PhD - Kain C: Tsunami signatures: Reconstructing the dynamics of pre-historic tsunamis from their sedimentary deposits (2015)
  • PhD - Moghaddam A: Sediment transport in pocket beach environments (2014)
  • PhD - Taylor G: Impacts of Vehicles on Beaches (2014)
  • PhD - Zahid: The influence of Asian monsoon variability on precipitation patterns over the Maldives. (2011)
  • Masters - Berger H: Characterising landscape and sea level dynamics to predict shoreline responses over the next 100+ years in a high energy tectonic setting, Kaikoura, New Zealand (2017)
  • Masters - Fifield M: Rivermouth dynamics and management at New River lagoon, Westland, New Zealand. (2012)
  • Masters - Foster D: The morphodynamics of Motunau Beach and management implications. (2009)
  • Masters - Ishikawa R: Historical shoreline change and beach morphodynamics at Rapahoe Bay, West Coast, New Zealand. (2008)
  • Masters - Kain C: Past, present and future morphology and dynamics of rivermouth lagoons in Westland, New Zealand. (2010)
  • Masters - Mathewson P: Evaluating the shoreline protection responses to widespread erosion around Lake Pukaki. (2011)
  • Masters - Mohammed M: Economic valuation of coral reefs: a case study of the costs and benefits of improved management of Dhigali Haa, a marine protected area in Baa Atoll, Maldives. (2007)
  • Masters - Norman M: Wainono Lagoon Geomorphic and Environmental History (2016)
  • Masters - Patino J: Coastal evolution of Shelly Beach, Otago Harbour. (2004)
  • Masters - Radford J: Shelf-to-canyon sedimentation in the Hokitika-Cook submarine canyon complex, central Westland, New Zealand. (2011)
  • Masters - Wheeler J: Hydrodynamic modelling and quantification of available habitat in constructed wetland wildlife reserves. (2008)
  • Masters - Kelland E: Christchurch's coastal and riverside quakes. (2014)
  • Masters - Mulvany D: Coastal lagoon indicators of river catchment change: a Hurunui case study (2013)
  • Honours - Ball S: Rakaia Rivermouth closure (2012)
  • Honours - Carter J: Changes in the Sumner coastline, Pegasus Bay: a study of beach variation from 1940 to 2007. (2007)
  • Honours - Cattermole K: Variations in tidal hydraulics and water quality at the Totara Lagoon/ River mouth. (2009)
  • Honours - de Vries W: Mudflat morphodynamics and sedimentation rates: a case study of the intertidal mudflats at the Head of the Bay, Lyttelton Harbour. (2007)
  • Honours - Eaves A: Banks Peninsula mudflat states and dynamics (2012)
  • Honours - Foster D: Dynamics of Motunau Inlet. (2008)
  • Honours - Griffiths N: The effect of tsunami hazard on the Avon-Heathcote Estuary area. (2005)
  • Honours - Hall S: Assessing the effectiveness of a rock groyne in maintaining a lagoon channel opening through a mixed sand and gravel beach. (2008)
  • Honours - Ishikawa R: Beach and nearshore morphology at Amberley Beach, Pegasus Bay. (2006)
  • Honours - Jupp K: Establishing a physical and biological basis for salt marsh restoration and management in the Avon-Heathcote Estuary, Christchurch. (2007)
  • Honours - Knight G: Tsunami vulnerability on the Christchurch coast. (2005)
  • Honours - Langley R: A coastal scenic evaluation of the North Canterbury coast. (2006)
  • Honours - McSweeney S: Opihi River mouth closure and migration changes following construction of the Opuha Dam (2011)
  • Honours - Nation T: Historical shoreline mapping of the Clarence coastline North of Kaikoura, New Zealand (2009)
  • Honours - Stella L: Site suitability of Harts Creek wildlife reserve, Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere, New Zealand, for restoration of kahikatea (Dacrycarpus dacrydioides) forest. (2007)

Research/Scholarly/Creative Works

Journal Articles
  • Dombroski K., Watkins AF., Fitt H., Frater J., Banwell K., Mackenzie K., Mutambo L., Hawke K., Persendt F. and Turković J. (2018) Journeying from “I” to “we”: assembling hybrid caring collectives of geography doctoral scholars. Journal of Geography in Higher Education 42(1): 80-93. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03098265.2017.1335295.
  • Kain C., Wassmer P., Goff J., Chagué-Goff C., Gomez C., Hart D., Fierro D., Jacobsen G. and Zawadzki A. (2017) Determining flow patterns and emplacement dynamics from tsunami deposits with no visible sedimentary structure. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 42(5): 763-780. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/esp.4020.
  • Byun DS. and Hart DE. (2015) Predicting Tidal Heights for New Locations Using 25h of in situ Sea Level Observations plus Reference Site Records: A Complete Tidal Species Modulation with Tidal Constant Corrections. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology 32(2): 350-371. http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JTECH-D-14-00030.1.
  • Hughes MW., Quigley MC., Van Ballegooy S., Deam BL., Bradley BA., Hart DE. and Measures R. (2015) The sinking city: Earthquakes increase flood hazard in Christchurch, New Zealand. GSA Today 25(3-4): 4-10. http://dx.doi.org/10.1130/GSATG221A.1.
  • Kain C., Gomez C., Hart DE., Wassmer P., Goff J. and Starheim C. (2014) Assessing topographic controls on flow direction in washover deposits using measurements of magnetic fabric. Marine Geology 350: 16-26. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2014.01.010.
  • Kain C., Gomez C., Wassmer P., Lavigne F. and Hart D. (2014) Truncated dunes as evidence of the 2004 tsunami in North Sumatra and environmental recovery post-tsunami. New Zealand Geographer 70(3): 165-178. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nzg.12052.
  • Byun DS., Hart DE. and Jeong WJ. (2013) Tidal current energy resources off the south and west coasts of Korea: Preliminary observation-derived estimates. Energies 6(2): 566-578. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/en6020566.
  • Gomez C. and Hart DE. (2013) Disaster Gold Rushes, Sophisms and Academic Neocolonialism: Comments on 'Earthquake disasters and resilience in the global North'. The Geographical Journal (British Royal Geographical Society) 179(3): 272-277. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/geoj.12028.
  • Gomez C., Hart DE. and Wassmer P. (2012) Tohoku Tsunami: Understanding the Human Elements of a Coastal Disaster. Coastal News 49: 3-5.
  • Park SY., Byun DS. and Hart DE. (2012) A solution for the correct interpolation of data across regions with abrupt changes in tidal phase-lag. Ocean Science Journal 47(4): 215-219. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12601-012-0022-6.
  • Gomez C., Soltanzadeh I. and Hart DE. (2011) The atmospheric impacts of large tsunamis - case study in Java, Indonesia. Coastal News 48: 5-6.
  • Hart DE. (2011) Coastal impacts, dynamics and change: Insights from North Carolina to New Zealand. Coastal News (46): 4.
  • Moghaddam AE. and Hart DE. (2011) Nearshore Currents and Sediment Transport Mechanisms in Pocket Beach Environments. Coastal News (46): 8-10.
  • Hart DE. and Knight GA. (2009) Geographic Information System Assessment of Tsunami Vulnerability on a Dune Coast. Journal of Coastal Research 25(1): 131-141. http://dx.doi.org/10.2112/07-0960.1.
  • Hart DE. (2007) International Coastal Symposium Review. Coastal News 35: 7.
  • Langley RJ. and Hart DE. (2007) A Coastal Scenic Assessment of the North Canterbury Coast. Coastal News 34: 1-3.
  • Woodroffe CD., Samosorn B., Hua Q. and Hart DE. (2007) Incremental accretion of a sandy reef island over the past 3000 years indicated by component-specific radiocarbon dating. Geophysical Research Letters 34 L03602 http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2006GL028875.
  • Byun DS., Cho YK., Huh IA. and Hart DE. (2005) Runoff-induced vertical thermal dynamics in a canyon-shaped reservoir during the summer monsoon. Marine and Freshwater Research 56(7): 959-968.
  • Byun DS., Wang XH., Hart DE. and Cho YK. (2005) Modeling the effect of freshwater inflows on the development of spring blooms in an estuarine embayment. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 65(1-2): 351-360. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2005.06.012.
  • Brander RW., Kench PS. and Hart D. (2004) Spatial and temporal variations in wave characteristics across a reef platform, Warraber Island, Torres Strait, Australia. Marine Geology 207(1-4): 169-184. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.margeo.2004.03.014.
  • Kelly D., Hart DE. and Allen RB. (2001) Evaluating the wind pollination benefits of mast seeding. Ecology 82(1): 117-126.
  • Kelly D., Hart DE. and Allen RB. (2001) Evaluating the wind-pollination benefits of mast seeding. Ecology 82: 117-126.
  • Marsden ID., Hart DE., Reid CM. and Gomez C. (2016) Earthquake disturbances. In Kennish MJ (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Estuaries: 207-214. Dordrecht: Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
  • Hart DE. (2009) River Mouth Lagoon Science and Management. In Williams A; Micallef A (Ed.), Beach Management: Principles and Practice (1st ed.): 273-286. London: Earthscan.
  • Hart DE., Marsden ID. and Francis M. (2008) Coastal systems. In Winterbourn M; Knox G; Burrows C; Marsden I (Ed.), The Natural History of Canterbury (3rd ed.): 653-684. Christchurch: Canterbury University Press.
  • Hart DE. (2017) Review of the amendments process and final Tonkin & Taylor (2017) coastal hazard assessment for Christchurch and Banks Peninsula. In Review of the amendments process and final Tonkin & Taylor (2017) coastal hazard assessment for Christchurch and Banks Peninsula., Christchurch City Council. Commissioned by Christchurch City Council. 1-108.
  • Todd D., Moody L., Cobby D., Hart DE., Hawke K., Purton K. and Murphy A. (2017) Multi-Hazard Analysis: Gap Analysis Report. In Multi-Hazard Analysis: Gap Analysis Report, Jacobs. Commissioned by prepared for Christchurch City Council by Jacobs, University of Canterbury, Beca, and HR Wallingford. 1-153.
  • Hart DE. and Hawke KA. (2016) Multi-Hazard Flooding Interactions in the Ōpāwaho Heathcote Catchment, Christchurch, New Zealand. In Multi-Hazard Flooding Interactions in the Ōpāwaho Heathcote Catchment, Christchurch, New Zealand, University of Canterbury. Commissioned by Prepared for Christchurch City Council and Jacobs. 45.
  • Hume T., Gerbeaux P., Hart DE., Kettles H. and Neale D. (2016) A classification of New Zealand's coastal hydrosystems. In A classification of New Zealand's coastal hydrosystems, Ministry for the Environment. Commissioned by Ministry for the Environment.
  • Allen J., Davis C., Giovinazzi S., Hart DE., Cochrane T., Deam B., De Pascale G., Hicks M., Holland D. and Hughes M. (2014) Geotechnical & flooding reconnaissance of the 2014 March flood event post 2010-2011 Canterbury earthquake sequence, New Zealand. In Report No. GEER035, GEER Association. Commissioned by Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance Association. 134. http://dx.doi.org/10.18118/G6001Z.
  • Campbell BA., Marsden ID. and Hart DE. (2013) Characterization of earthquake induced environmental degradation in Bexley Wetland, South Island, New Zealand, and options for future management..Commissioned by Avon-Heathcote Ihutai Trust. 1-98.
  • Hart DE. (2013) Whakaraupō Lyttelton Harbour sedimentation and circulation. In Integrated Coastal Research Group Report 01/13 and Environment Canterbury Technical Report R13/65, Commissioned by Environment Canterbury. 144pp.
  • Hart DE. and de Villiers M. (2012) Examining the effects of the February 2010 far-field tsunami on the seabed sediments of Akaroa Harbour. In Integrated Coastal Research Group Report 01/12, Commissioned by Canterbury Regional Council. 33pp.
  • Taylor GF., Marsden IF. and Hart DE. (2012) Management of vehicle and horse users on sand beaches: Implications for shellfish populations. In Estuarine Research Report 41, Commissioned by Canterbury Regional Council. 56pp.
  • Hart DE. (2009) Proposed deepening and extension of the Lyttelton Port navigation channel: Review of hydrodynamic and sediment evidence.Lyttelton Port Company. Commissioned by Lyttelton Port Company. 42pp.
  • Hart DE., Todd DJ., Nation TE. and McWilliams ZA. (2009) Coastal Research Report 01/ECan Report 09/44: Upper Akaroa Harbour Seabed Bathymetry and Soft Sediments: A Baseline Mapping Study.Commissioned by Environment Canterbury. 72pp.
  • Alexander DJ., Hart DE. and Marsden ID. (2008) Evaluation and Development of Techniques to Map Macroalgae in the Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai. Estuarine Research Report 35.Commissioned by Avon-Heathcote Estuary Trust, Christchurch City Council and Environment Canterbury. 84pp.
  • Hart DE., Marsden ID., Todd DJ. and de Vries WJ. (2008) Mapping of the Bathymetry, Soft Sediments, and Biota of the Seabed of Upper Lyttelton Harbour.Commissioned by Environment Canterbury. 59pp.
  • Jupp KL., Partridge TR., Hart DE. and Marsden ID. (2007) Ecology of the Avon-Heathcote Estuary: Comparative Salt Marsh Survey 2006-2007. Estuarine Research Report 34.University of Canterbury. Commissioned by Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust. 79pp. http://www.estuary.org.nz/pdfs/jupp-report.pdf.
  • Hart DE. (2005) Coastal Assessment of Warraber Island, Torres Strait, Australia.Commissioned by Warraber island Community Council. 60pp.
  • Hart DE. (2004) Sedimentation in the Upper Lyttelton Harbour.Commissioned by Environment Canterbury. 18pp.
  • Hart DE. and Single MB. (2004) Evolution, dynamics and management of Waikoriri Lagoon, Boldhead, Westland, New Zealand.Commissioned by Westland District Council. 23pp.
  • Hart DE. (2000) Review of existing sea-level change studies. In: Harvey, N., Hart, D.E. and James, C. Preliminary investigations of sea-level change and coastal management in Oceania.Commissioned by Environment Australia. 5-46.
  • Allan JC., Kirk RM., Hemmingsen M. and Hart D. (1999) Coastal Processes in Southern Pegasus Bay: A Review.Commissioned by Canterbury Regional Council and Woodward-Clyde New Zealand Ltd. 91pp.