Charitha Pattiaratchi

Charitha Pattiaratchi
University of Western Australia | UWA · Oceans Institute

PhD

About

467
Publications
156,993
Reads
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10,301
Citations
Introduction
My research encompass coastal ocean physical processes and their influence on climatic, biological, and geological processes in estuaries, the nearshore (beach) zone, and the continental shelf region. I use field measurements, remote sensing, and computer modelling as the tools of my research. I have supervised 70 postgraduate research students and 20 post-doctoral researchers. I have published over 500 articles which include more than 200 in peer-reviewed international journals.
Additional affiliations
January 2014 - present
Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC
Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC
Position
  • Project Manager
July 1988 - present
University of Western Australia
Position
  • Professor
July 1988 - present
The University of Western Australia
Position
  • Professor
Education
July 1981 - July 1985
The University of Wales
Field of study
  • Oceanography

Publications

Publications (467)
Article
Full-text available
Meteotsunamis are generated by meteorological events, particularly moving pressure disturbances due to squalls, thunderstorms, frontal passages and atmospheric gravity waves. Relatively small initial sea-level perturbations, of the order of a few centimetres, can increase significantly through multi-resonant phenomena to create destructive events t...
Article
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There is observational evidence that global sea level is rising and there is concern that the rate of rise will increase, significantly threatening coastal communities. However, considerable debate remains as to whether the rate of sea level rise is currently increasing and, if so, by how much. Here we provide new insights into sea level accelerati...
Article
The incidence of major storm surges in the last decade have dramatically emphasized the immense destructive capabilities of extreme water level events, particularly when driven by severe tropical cyclones. Given this risk, it is vitally important that the exceedance probabilities of extreme water levels are accurately evaluated to inform risk-based...
Article
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Hydrological data from a repeated cross-shore transect obtained using Teledyne Webb Research Slocum Electric gliders offshore Two Rocks in south-western Australia over 13 months are presented. The data revealed that formation of dense water inshore and its transport across the shelf as a near bed gravity current (defined as Dense Shelf Water Cascad...
Article
Numerous processes can cause upwelling, but the processes that cause upwelling along the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia (ECPM) are not well understood. Therefore, the dynamics of upwelling driving processes along the ECPM were investigated in this study. During the southwest monsoon, satellite-derived sea surface temperature (SST) and cruise sur...
Article
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Offshore platforms, subsea pipelines, wells and related fixed structures supporting the oil and gas (O&G) industry are prevalent in oceans across the globe, with many approaching the end of their operational life and requiring decommissioning. Although structures can possess high ecological diversity and productivity, information on how they intera...
Article
Estimating ocean processes in regions with sparse observations, and where dynamics are dominated by strong barotropic and baroclinic tides, poses a significant modelling challenge. In this study, a Four-Dimensional Variational (4D-Var) data assimilation method, incorporating remotely sensed sea surface temperature (SST) data observations only, was...
Article
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Dynamics of ocean boundary currents and associated shelf processes can influence onshore and offshore water transport, critically impacting marine organisms that release long-lived pelagic larvae into the water column. The western rock lobster, Panulirus cygnus, endemic to Western Australia, is the basis of Australia's most valuable wild-caught com...
Article
Full-text available
Plastic debris is the most common and exponentially increasing human pollutant in the world's ocean. The distribution and impact of plastic in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans have been the subject of many publications but not so the Indian Ocean (IO). Some of the IO rim countries have the highest population densities globally and mismanagement of p...
Article
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Both local and international careers in the ocean sciences are largely unavailable or inaccessible to interested students and graduates from under-resourced nations. Barriers to ocean science careers result from a range of region-specific factors. Financial and infrastructural resources supporting ocean science opportunities are limited. Inter- and...
Article
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Sri Lanka experienced its worst anthropogenic marine disaster as a result of the X-Press Pearl incident. This is in addition to natural disasters such as tsunamis and extreme weather events. Together they pose significant environmental, ecological, financial, social and legal risks to coastal populations. This is highlighted through the aftermath o...
Article
Integrated analysis of the vertical and horizontal movements of epipelagic fishes requires high-resolution data from tags that have been attached to animals for long periods. The recovery of a SPLASH tag deployed on a whale shark (Rhincodon typus) for three months enabled access to archival data of horizontal and vertical movements of the shark tha...
Article
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This study aims to investigate the interconnection between the southern South China Sea (SSCS) and Java Sea (JS) by simulating seasonal circulations and associated transports using the Regional Ocean Modelling System (ROMS). The seasonal circulation was predominantly driven by monsoonal wind stress and water exchanges between the SSCS and the JS. D...
Article
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Animals follow specific movement patterns and search strategies to maximize encounters with essential resources (e.g. prey, favourable habitat) while minimizing exposures to suboptimal conditions (e.g. competitors, predators). While describing spatiotemporal patterns in animal movement from tracking data is common, understanding the associated sear...
Article
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Subsea infrastructure of the oil and gas industry attracts commercial fish species as well as megafauna including sea lions, turtles, sharks and whales. Potential impacts of this attraction, whether positive or negative, are unknown. As part of a pilot study, we deployed acoustic telemetry equipment around offshore infrastructure to assess its effe...
Article
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Whale sharks off the western coast of India have suffered high levels of fishing pressure in the past, and today continue to be caught in small-scale fisheries as by-catch. Additionally, coastlines in this region host very large and growing human populations that are undergoing rapid development. This exacerbates ongoing anthropogenic threats to th...
Article
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The monsoon circulation in the Northern Indian Ocean (NIO) is unique since it develops in response to the bi-annual reversing monsoonal winds, with the ocean currents mirroring this change through directionality and intensity. The interaction between the reversing currents and topographic features have implications for the development of the Island...
Article
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The pelagic development stages of many marine invertebrate species dictates their spatial and temporal distribution once reaching their benthic second phase of life. This life cycle is associated with the Western Rock Lobster ( Panulirus cygnus ) along the coast of Western Australia. Over the past 50 years, the number of puerulus reaching the nears...
Preprint
Full-text available
Dynamics of ocean boundary currents and associated shelf processes can influence onshore/offshore transport of water, critically impacting marine organisms that release long-lived pelagic larvae into the water column. The western rock lobster, Panulirus cygnus, endemic to Western Australia, is the basis of Australia's most valuable wild-caught comm...
Article
Full-text available
Millions of tons of buoyant plastic materials enter oceans annually, the majority originating from terrestrial sources and transported to oceans where oceanographic processes disperse or accumulate them. Some of these materials beach while others accumulate in convergent zones in coastal seas and the open ocean. Although accumulations associated wi...
Article
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Natural formations of rock and coral can support geologically controlled beaches, where the beach dynamics are significantly influenced by these structures. However, little is known about how alongshore variations in geological controls influence beach morphodynamics. Therefore, in this study we focus on the storm response of a beach (Yanchep in so...
Article
Bio‐logging data obtained by tagging animals is key to addressing global conservation challenges. However, the many thousands of existing bio‐logging datasets are not easily discoverable, universally comparable, nor readily accessible through existing repositories and across platforms. This slows down ecological research and effective management. A...
Article
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A comprehensive observational data set was used to examine shoreward propagating semidiurnal internal tides as they shoal, break and run-up as turbulent boluses across the edge of the Australian North West Shelf (NWS), offshore Dampier, during late winter 2013. The measured waveforms and wavefields supported the grouping of events into two distinct...
Preprint
Full-text available
Plastic debris are the most common and exponentially increasing human pollutant in the world's oceans. The distribution and impact of plastics in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans have been the subject of many studies but not so for the Indian Ocean (IO). Some of the IO rim countries have the highest population densities in the world and mis-manageme...
Article
Waves are thought to provide an important directional cue for hatchlings of marine turtles to navigate through the nearshore zone and to facilitate dispersal to oceanic waters. As the flatback turtle (Natator depressus) is the only species of marine turtle that lacks an oceanic juvenile stage and remains on the continental shelf throughout the enti...
Article
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In this talk, I will discuss long wave motions in bays and harbors, and descirbe analysis approaches to better understand the properties of these oscillations.Recorded Presentation from the vICCE (YouTube Link): https://youtu.be/4TKOOthT6MQ
Presentation
Full-text available
In this talk, I will discuss long wave motions in bays and harbors, and descirbe analysis approaches to better understand the properties of these oscillations. Recorded Presentation from the vICCE (YouTube Link): https://youtu.be/4TKOOthT6MQ
Article
Full-text available
Throughout history, coastal settlers have had to adapt to periodic coastal flooding. However, as a society we have become increasingly vulnerable to extreme water level events as our cities and our patterns of coastal development become more intricate, populated and interdependent. In addition to this, there is now a real and growing concern about...
Article
Full-text available
Extreme sea levels result from a combination of a range of factors that include long term mean sea level variability, astronomical tides, storm surges due to atmospheric pressure and wind, wave breaking, and other regional dynamics. Numerical circulation/storm-surge models are frequently used to predict water levels over broad areas with the output...
Article
Full-text available
The land-sea breeze (LSB) system, driven by the thermal contrast between the land and the adjacent ocean is a widely known atmospheric phenomenon, which occurs in coastal regions globally. Southwest Australia experiences a persistent and one of the strongest LSB systems globally with maximum wind speeds associated with the LSB system often exceedin...
Article
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A large percentage of global ocean plastic waste enters the Northern Hemisphere Indian Ocean (NIO). Despite this, it is unclear what happens to buoyant plastics in the NIO. Because the subtropics in the NIO are blocked by landmass, there is no subtropical gyre and no associated subtropical garbage patch in this region. We therefore hypothesize that...
Article
Full-text available
A large percentage of global ocean plastic waste enters the Northern Hemisphere Indian Ocean (NIO). Despite this, it is unclear what happens to buoyant plastics in the NIO. Because the subtropics in the NIO are blocked by landmass, there is no subtropical gyre and no associated subtropical garbage patch in this region. We therefore hypothesize that...
Article
Full-text available
Resonance is generally described as a phenomenon that results in increased response that occurs when the frequency of an applied force is equal or close to a natural frequency of the system. Under these resonance conditions, energy transfer from the atmosphere to ocean is at a maximum with the oceanic response higher than what would be expected. Tr...
Article
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Tiger sharks, Galeocerdo cuvier , are a keystone, top-order predator that are assumed to engage in cost-efficient movement and foraging patterns. To investigate the extent to which oscillatory diving by tiger sharks conform to these patterns, we used a biologging approach to model their cost of transport. High-resolution biologging tags with tri-ax...
Article
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Western Australia is susceptible to tsunamis from seismic sources that originate from distant sources including the Sunda Arc. Many surface and subsurface topographic ocean features are located between the Australian continent and locations where tsunamigenic earthquakes occur. These include the Venin Meinesz Seamounts (including Christmas Island)...
Article
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Surface circulation associated with the Leeuwin Current System off the southern coast of Western Australia was simulated using the Regional Ocean Model Systems (ROMS). The Leeuwin current (LC) and Flinders current (FC) were reproduced in two simulation: with and without wind stress. The inclusion of wind resulted in a strong LC during autumn and wi...
Article
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Vietnam, located in the tropical region of the northwest Pacific Ocean, is frequently impacted by tropical storms. Occurrence of extreme water level events associated with tropical storms are often unpredicted and put coastal infrastructure and safety of coastal populations at risk. Hence, an improved understanding of the nature of storm surges and...
Article
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Transport of water between the coast and the deeper ocean, across the continental shelf, is an important process for the distribution of biota, nutrients, suspended and dissolved material on the shelf. Presence of denser water on the inner continental shelf results in a cross-shelf density gradient that drives a gravitational circulation with offsh...
Preprint
Full-text available
A large percentage of global ocean plastic waste enters the northern hemisphere Indian Ocean (NIO). Despite this, it is unclear what happens to buoyant plastics in the NIO. Because the subtropics in the NIO is blocked by landmass, there is no subtropical gyre and no associated subtropical garbage patch in this region. We therefore hypothesise that...
Article
Full-text available
Extensive partial mortality of intertidal corals was observed at the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia, associated with extended and recurrent daytime low water levels from September to November 2018. Branching Acropora corals on shallow leeward reef platforms were emersed during the middle of day during the Austral spring due to diurnal...
Article
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The Australian marine research, industry, and stakeholder community has recently undertaken an extensive collaborative process to identify the highest national priorities for windwaves research. This was undertaken under the auspices of the Forum for Operational Oceanography Surface Waves Working Group. The main steps in the process were first, sol...
Article
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The role of storm events in controlling chlorophyll distribution along the oligotrophic Rottnest continental shelf is examined data collected by autonomous ocean gliders combined with meteorological data. Spatial and temporal distribution of chlorophyll concentrations were obtained from a repeated transect across the shallow continental shelf that...
Article
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Predicting the trajectories of buoyant objects drifting at the ocean surface is important for a variety of different applications. To minimize errors in predicted trajectories, the dominant transport mechanisms have to be considered. In addition to the background surface currents (i.e., geostrophic, tidal, baroclinic currents), the wind-driven drif...
Article
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Sea-level data from six tide gauge stations along the northern coast of the Persian Gulf were analyzed both in time and frequency domain to evaluate meteorological forcing. Spectral analyses indicated that mixed, predominantly semi-diurnal tides were dominant at all stations, but low-frequency fluctuations correlated well with atmospheric pressure...
Article
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Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) are used extensively by the offshore oil and gas and renewables industries for inspection, maintenance, and repair of their infrastructure. With thousands of subsea structures monitored across the world’s oceans from the shallows to depths greater than 1,000 m, there is a great and underutilized opportunity for the...
Conference Paper
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Storm surge (non-tidal water level) is usually defined as the difference between the observed water level and the predicted tide and attributed to direct. Storm surges contribute to coastal inundation, erosion, and possible loss of lives. Physical processes that influence the non-tidal water level associated with storms systems can persists for up...
Chapter
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Strengthening boundary currents and episodic marine heatwaves are carrying tropical and subtropical picophytoplankton species such as Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus far into temperate southern waters around Tasmania and South West Australia, with implications for both people and ecosystems. As biomarkers for warmer currents, the picophytoplankto...
Article
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A new merged high-frequency radar (HFR) data set collected using SeaSonde and WERA (WEllen RAdar) systems was used to examine the ocean surface circulation at diurnal, seasonal and inter-annual time scales along the southwest coast of Australia (SWWA), between 29°-32° S. Merging was performed after resampling WERA data on the coarser SeaSonde HFR g...
Article
Laboratory and field experiments have suggested that near-bed sediment resuspension is an intermittent process influenced by turbulent coherent structures. This is in contrast to many sediment transport theories that relate sediment transport rates to mean near bed flow parameters. This study presents observations of turbulent bursting events obtai...
Article
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Variability in sea surface temperature (SST) at seasonal, inter-annual and longer timescales reflect changes in both atmospheric and oceanic processes. SST is a key parameter that influence the heat transfer between the ocean and atmosphere and therefore it is important for regulating climate and its variability, both regionally and globally. SST a...
Article
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Ocean currents also have a strong influence on marine ecosystems, through the transport of heat, nutrients, phytoplankton, zooplankton and larvae of most marine animals. We used geostrophic currents derived satellite altimetry measurements between 1993 and 2019 to examine the Kinetic Energy (KE, measure of current intensity) and Eddy Kinetic Energy...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Coastal infrastructure projects such harbours and marinas usually require the construction of breakwaters to maintain a stable entrance channel but they also interrupt the alongshore transport of sand resulting in accumulation of sand on the upstream section. In south-west Australia due to the presence of large offshore seagrass beds, wrack (dead s...