College of Sciences staff

Contact details +64 (06) 356 9099  ext. 84847

Dr Alastair Clement

Lecturer in Physical Geography

Institute of Agriculture and Environment

I am a coastal geomorphologist with a broad interest in Quaternary environmental change. My research focuses on understanding the geomorphic evolution of clastic coastal depositional environments such as estuaries and incised-valleys, coastal plains, and dunefields in response to fluctuations in relative sea-level, changing climatic conditions, and the impact of tectonics. This involves reconstructing how coastal environments changed during the late Quaternary, using coring techniques to unlock sediment archives, and geophysical techniques such as chirp sonar and ground-penetrating radar to ‘image’ the sub-surface. This data is bought together in a GIS to produce 2D and 3D maps and models of the evolution of coastal environments.

Relative sea-level change is the most significant driver of the evolution of coastal environments during the Quaternary. A major thread of my research is reconstructing how relative sea-level has changed around the New Zealand coast over the past 10,000 years (the ‘Holocene’). This involves recovering and analysing indicators of past sea-level, and using these indicators to reconstruct how relative sea-level has changed over both space and time. This research seeks to understand complex processes such as glacioisostacy and hydroisostacy that drives considerable spatial and temporal variations in Holocene relative sea-level change around the New Zealand coast, and provides invaluable context to our understanding of how New Zealand’s coastal environments have evolved during the late Quaternary.

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Professional

Qualifications

  • PhD (Geography) (2011)
  • BSc (Hons) (Geography) (2007)
  • BBS (Information Systems) (2006)

Research Expertise

Research Interests

My research has two main areas of focus:

  • The evolution of coastal environments during the late Quaternary, in response to fluctuations in relative sea-level, changing climatic conditions, and the impact of tectonics.
  • Reconstructing how relative sea-level has changed around the New Zealand coast over the past 10,000 years in response to climatic changes and processes such as glacioisostacy and hydroisostacy.

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Earth Sciences (040000): Geology (040300): Geomorphology and Regolith and Landscape Evolution (040601): Marine Geoscience (040305): Natural Hazards (040604): Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience (040600): Quaternary Environments (040606): Sedimentology (040310): Stratigraphy (incl. Biostratigraphy and Sequence Stratigraphy) (040311): Surface Processes (040607)

Keywords

Coastal geomorphology; coastal environments; coastal evolution; relative sea-level change; Quaternary environmental change; incised-valley evolution; estuary evolution.

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 2 1

Research Outputs

Journal

Clement, AJH., Whitehouse, PL., & Sloss, CR. (2016). An examination of spatial variability in the timing and magnitude of Holocene relative sea-level changes in the New Zealand archipelago. Quaternary Science Reviews. 131, 73-101
[Journal article]Authored by: Clement, A.
Clement, AJH., Sloss, CR., & Fuller, IC. (2010). Late Quaternary geomorphology of the Manawatu coastal plain, North Island, New Zealand. Quaternary International. 221(1-2), 36-45
[Journal article]Authored by: Clement, A., Fuller, I.
Sloss, CR., Jones, BG., Switzer, AD., Nichol, S., Clement, AJH., & Nicholas, AW. (2010). The Holocene infill of Lake Conjola, a narrow incised valley system on the southeast coast of Australia. Quaternary International. 221(1-2), 23-35
[Journal article]Authored by: Clement, A.
Clement, AJH., & Brook, MS. (2008). Tilting of active folds and drainage asymmetry on the Manawatu Anticlines, New Zealand: A preliminary investigation. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 33(11), 1787-1795
[Journal article]Authored by: Clement, A.
Clement, AJH., & Fuller, IC. (2007). Fluvial responses to environmental change in the North Island, New Zealand, during the past c. 30 ka recorded in river terrace sequences: A review and model for river behaviour. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics. 50(2), 101-116
[Journal article]Authored by: Clement, A., Fuller, I.

Conference

Clement, AJH. (2017, February). Reflections on 90 years of palaeo sea-level research in New Zealand. Presented at 17th Biennial Australian and New Zealand Geomorphology Group Conference
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Clement, A.
Veitch, JC., Clement, AJH., Fuller, IC., Holt, KA., & McColl, ST. (2017, February). Unravelling possible climatic and/or tectonic signals preserved in Holocene coastal geomorphology around Lake Wairarapa, North Island, New Zealand. Presented at ANZGG Conference. Greytown.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Clement, A., Fuller, I., Holt, K., McColl, S.
Veitch, JC., Clement, AC., Fuller, IC., Holt, K., & McColl, ST. (2017). Unravelling possible climatic and/or tectonic signals preserved in Holocene coastal geomorphology around Lake Wairarapa, North Island, New Zealand. , 17th Biennial Australian and New Zealand Geomorphology Group Conference
[Conference Abstract]Authored by: Clement, A., Fuller, I., Holt, K., McColl, S.
Clement, AJH., Sloss, CR., & Fuller, IC. (2016). Holocene evolution of the Manawatu coastal plain incised valley system. Poster session presented at the meeting of Australasian Quanternary Association Biennial Conference
[Conference Poster]Authored by: Clement, A., Fuller, I.
Veitch, JC., Clement, AJH., Fuller, IC., McColl, ST., & Holt, KA. (2016). Unravelling climatic and tectonic signals preserved in the Holocene coastal geomorphology around Lake Wairarapa, North Island, New Zealand. Poster session presented at the meeting of New Zealand Coastal Society 24th Annual Conference
[Conference Poster]Authored by: Clement, A., Fuller, I., Holt, K., McColl, S.
Clement, AJH., Whitehouse, PL., & Sloss, CR. (2016). Reconstructing Holocene relative sea-level changes in the New Zealand region: current challenges and future directions. Poster session presented at the meeting of New Zealand Coastal Society 24th Annual Conference
[Conference Poster]Authored by: Clement, A.
Clement, AJH., Whitehouse, PL., & Sloss, CR. (2016, December). Reconstructing Holocene relative sea-level changes in the New Zealand region: current challenges and future directions. Presented at Australasian Quanteranry Association Biennial Conference 2016. Auckland, New Zealand.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Clement, A.
Veitch, JC., Clement, AJH., Fuller, IC., Holt, KA., & McColl, ST. (2016). Unravelling possible climatic and/or tectonic signals preserved in Holocene coastal geomorphology around Lake Wairarapa, North Island, New Zealand.. Poster session presented at the meeting of Australasian Quaternary Association Conference
[Conference Poster]Authored by: Clement, A., Fuller, I., Holt, K., McColl, S.
Clement, AJH., Novakova, T., Macklin, MG., Fuller, IC., Hudson-Edwards, KA., Fox, EG., . . . Zapico, I. (2016, February). Environmental and geomorphological impacts of historical gold mining activities in the Ohinemuri and Waihou Rivers, Coromandel, North Island, New Zealand. Presented at NZ Geographical Society Conference. Dunedin.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Clement, A., Fuller, I., Macklin, M.
Clement, AJH., Whitehouse, PL., & Sloss, CR. (2014, November). Unravelling the influence of continental levering on palaeo sea-level changes around New Zealand. Presented at Geoscience Society of New Zealand 2014 Annual Conference. New Plymouth, New Zealand.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Clement, A.
Clement, AJH., Sloss, CR., & Whitehouse, PL. (2013, November). Holocene relative sea-level reconstructions for regions within the New Zealand archipelago. Presented at New Zealand Coastal Society 21st Annual Conference. Hokitika, New Zealand.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Clement, A.

Supervision and Teaching

Summary of Doctoral Supervision

Position Current Completed
CoSupervisor 1 0

Teaching

In addition to my duties coordinating the below papers, I teach into the following courses:

Undergraduate:

  • 145.121 Introduction to Physical Geography: I contribute lectures on the global energy balance; the atmosphere, ozone layer, and global warming; atmospheric circulation; the hydrological cycle, weather, and precipitation processes; extreme weather phenomena; aeolian processes and desert landforms; and coastal processes and landforms. I also run a lab on New Zealand’s weather.
  • 145.201 Geographical Research Techniques: I contribute two lectures and two labs on principles of cartography and geographic information systems (GIS).
  • 145.223 Climate Change and Natural Hazards: I contribute lectures on global warming and 20th Century climate change; climate change and human conflict; tropical cyclones and extreme weather phenomena; tsunamis; and other coastal hazards. I also run a lab on global warming and a lab on coastal hazards.
  • 145.230 Coastal Environments: This paper is taught solely by myself, and covers coastal processes and landforms, coastal hazards, the management of contemporary coastal environments, and the evolution of coastal environments in response to climatic and sea-level changes.
  • 145.304 Applied Field Geomorphology: I contribute to fieldtrip topics in the areas of Quaternary environmental change, relating particularly to coastal environments and relative sea-level change.

Postgraduate:

  • 145.702 Advanced Field Techniques in Geomorphology: I contribute to the teaching of field techniques including coring, core logging and sedimentological analysis; field surveying; and the use of ground penetrating radar.
  • 145.705 Applied Geomorphology: Catchment to Coast: I contribute topics on coastal environments, coastal hazards, sea-level rise, and coastal vulnerability.

Courses Coordinated

Current Doctoral Supervision

CoSupervisor of:

  • James Veitch - PhD
    Holocene evolution of lake Wairarapa basin and connecting catchments

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