The prediction of watertable fluctuations in a coastal aquifer is important for coastal management. However, most previous approaches have based on the one-dimensional Boussinesq equation, neglecting variations in the coastline and beach slope. In this paper, a closed-form analytical solution for a two-dimensional unconfined coastal aquifer bounded by a rhythmic coastline is derived. In the new model, the effect of beach slope is also included, a feature that has not been considered in previous two-dimensional approximations. Three small parameters, the shallow water parameter (epsilon), the amplitude parameter (a) and coastline parameter (beta) are used in the perturbation approximation. The numerical results demonstrate the significant influence of both the coastline shape and beach slopes on tide-driven coastal groundwater fluctuations. (c) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.