Person details



Rachel Nanson was awarded her BSc (Hons) in fluvial geomorphology in 1998 from the University of Wollongong, was employed in a landscape management role for the NSW state government until 2001 and was awarded  her PhD in fluvial geomorphology in 2006 from the University of New South Wales. She researched peatland carbon budgets at the Australian National University, and worked in environmental consulting, before commencing a postdoctoral role in the Australian School of Petroleum at the University of Adelaide. Rachel was employed as a Lecturer at the University of Adelaide from 2009 - 2011 and became a lead PI in the University of Adelaide WAVE II Research Group. Her current research interests include fluvial, coastal and marine geomorphology.

Rachel had a postdoctoral role in the WAVE Consortium Phase I research team and then roles as both Principal Investigator and Research Fellow for Phase II of this research. She has recently commenced a new role at Geoscience Australia Marine Geoscientist in the Marine Observations Branch.


2006 PhD University of New South Wales

1998 BSc (Hons) University of Wollongong



Ainsworth, R. B., Vakarelov, B. K., MacEachern, J. A., Rarity, F., Lane, T. I., & Nanson, R. A. (2017). Anatomy of A Shoreline Regression: Implications For the High-Resolution Stratigraphic Architecture of Deltas. Journal of Sedimentary Research, 87(5), 425-459.

Lane, T.I., Nanson, R.A., Vakarelov, B.K., Ainsworth, R.B. and Dashtgard, S.E. (2016). Evolution and architectural styles of a forced-regressive Holocene delta and megafan, Mitchell River, Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 444, pp.SP444-9.

Ainsworth, R.B., Vakarelov, B.K., MacEachern, J.A., Nanson, R.A., Lane, T.E., Rarity, F., and Dashtgard, S.E. (2016) Process-driven architectural variability in mouth-bar deposits: A case study from a mixed-process mouth-bar complex, Drumheller, Alberta, Canada. Journal of Sedimentary Research, 86(5), 512-541.

Counts, J. W. , F. Rarity, R. B. Ainsworth, K. J. Amos, T. Lane, S. Morón, J. Trainor, C. Valenti & R. Nanson (2016). Sedimentological interpretation of an Ediacaran delta: Bonney Sandstone, South Australia. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences.

Hope, G. and Nanson, R.A. (2015). Peatland carbon stores and fluxes in the Snowy Mountains, New South Wales, Australia. Mires and Peat, 15:1 - 23.

Nyberg, B., Buckley, S.J., Howell, J.A., Nanson, R.A., (2015). Geometric attribute and shape characterization of modern depositional elements: A quantitative GIS method for empirical analysis, Computers & Geosciences, 82: 191-204.

Nanson, R.A. and Cohen, T.J., (2014). Headwater peatland channels in south-eastern Australia; the attainment of equilibrium. Geomorphology, 212: 72-83.

Massey, T.A., Fernie, A.J., Ainsworth, R.B., Nanson, R.A. and Vakarelov, B.K. (2014). Detailed Mapping, 3D Modeling and Upscaling of a Mixed-Influence Delta Complex, Mitchell River Delta, Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 387.

Bourget, J., Nanson, R.A., Ainsworth, R.B. and Al-Anzi, H. (2013). Seismic Stratigraphy a Plio-Quaternary Intra-Shelf Basin (Bonaparte Basin, NW Australia), in: West Australian Basins Symposium 2013 Proceedings, Perth, WA, Australia (Keep., M & Moss, S. eds).

Bourget, J., Ainsworth, R.B. and Nanson, R.A. (2013). Origin of mixed carbonate and siliciclastic sequences at the margin of a “giant” platform during the Quaternary (Bonaparte Basin, NW Australia). In: Verwer K, Playton TE, Harris PM (Editors). Deposits, Architecture, and Controls of Carbonate Margin, Slope, and Basinal Settings, Special Publication 105: SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology), Tulsa, OK. doi: 10.2110/sepmsp.105.17.

Nanson, R.A., Vakarelov, B.K., Ainsworth, R.B., Williams, F.M. and Price, D.M. (2013) Evolution of a Holocene, mixed-process, forced regressive shoreline: The Mitchell River delta, Queensland, Australia, Marine Geology,

Nanson, R.A., Ainsworth, R.B., Vakarelov, B.K., Fernie, A. and Massey, T. (2012). Geometric attributes of reservoir elements in a modern, low accommodation, tide-dominated delta. APPEA Journal. 52:483-492.

Ainsworth, R.B., Vakarelov, B.K. and Nanson, R.A., (2011). Dynamic spatial and temporal prediction of changes in depositional processes on clastic shorelines: towards improved subsurface uncertainty reduction and management. AAPG Bulletin. 95 (2): 267-297.

Nanson, R.A., (2010). Development of mountain peatlands in stable equilibrium with open-channel hydraulics; a new concept in swamp formation and maintenance. Terra Australis 32:443-456.

Nanson, R.A. (2010). Flow fields in tightly curving meander bends of low width-depth ratio. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 35:119-135.

Nanson, R.A., G.C. Nanson, and H.Q. Huang. (2010). The hydraulic geometry of narrow and deep channels; evidence for flow optimisation and controlled peatland growth. Geomorphology 117(1-2):143-154.

Nanson, R.A. (2009). The evolution of peat-swamp channels and organic floodplains, Barrington Tops, New South Wales, Australia. Geographical Research 47(4):434-448.

Industry reports

Nanson, R.A., Lane, T.I., Ainsworth, R.B. and Vakarelov, B.K. (2013). Evolution and Architecture of a Low Accommodation, Mixed-Influence Marginal Marine System: Holocene Mitchell River Delta, Queensland, Australia. A Field Workshop: 1-6 September 2013. Prepared by the University Adelaide for the WAVE Consortium. 227 pages.

Nanson, R., Amos, K. and Ainsworth, R.B. (2013). Mitchell River Channel Architecture and Connectivity Project (MAC-I). Prepared by the University Adelaide for Woodside Energy Ltd. 41 pages.

Hope, G., Nanson, R.A. and Jones, P. (2011). The peat-forming bogs and fens of the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales. NSW Parks and Wildlife Service. Technical Report. 79 pages.

Nanson, R.A., Ainsworth, R.B. and Vakarelov, B.V. (2010). Modern mixed-process coastal systems: a case study of the Mitchell River delta, Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. Prepared by University Adelaide for the WAVE Consortium. 70 pages.

Hope, G., Nanson, R.A. and Flett, I. (2009). Climate Change and Sphagnum Bogs - The peat-forming mires of the Australian Capital Territory. Prepared by the Australian National University for the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. 40 pages.

Earth Tech Pty Ltd. (2008). River Styles Assessment of the Greater Melbourne area. Prepared by EarthTech for Melbourne Water. 140 pages.

Golab, A., Palamara, D. and Nanson, R.A. (2007). AACWG River Health Study: River Health Review. Prepared by the University of Wollongong for the Appin Area Community Working Group, 103 pages.

Nanson, R.A., Hope, G., Good, R. and Winnam, J. (2006). The extent of bogs in the Kosciusko and Namadgi National Parks. Australian National University. 14 pages.

Rayburg, S., Nanson, R.A., Thoms, M., Neave, M., Breen, T. and Lenon, E. (2006). A review of geomorphic classification schemes for rivers and floodplains. Prepared by the University of Canberra for the Murray Darling Basin Commission, 44 pages.

Brierley, G., Nanson, R.A., Ferguson, R. and Crighton, P. (1999). River Styles in the Shoalhaven River catchment, South Coast, NSW. NSW DLWC and Macquarie Research Ltd. 139 pages