Understanding and Mitigating Hazards
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This project will develop better predictions and forecasts for extreme water levels arising from storm surges, surface waves, continental shelf waves, tsunamis and mean sea level rise.

The occurrence of extreme water levels can lead to loss of life and damage to coastal infrastructure. Potential impacts and hazards of extreme water level events along our coasts are significantly increasing as populations grow and mean sea levels rise. To better prepare, coastal engineers, emergency managers and planners require accurate estimates of extreme water levels.

It is vitally important that the exceedance probabilities of extreme water levels are accurately evaluated to inform risk-based flood management, engineering and future land-use planning. This ensures the risk of catastrophic structural failures due to under-design or expense due to over-design are minimised.

This project is developing better predictions and forecasts for extreme water levels arising from storm surges, surface waves, continental shelf waves, meteorological tsunamis, mean sea level rise and the transition from tropical to extra‑tropical cyclones.

The study has incorporated surface gravity waves, developing and testing a coupled wave and storm surge model, which has yielded good results. The project has also successfully simulated continental shelf waves and Tropical Cyclone Alby (which hit Western Australia in 1978) with the hydrodynamic models. This will allow extension of the model to other parts of Australia.

Significant impact has been made in the area of meteorological tsunamis. As the only research group undertaking such research in Australia (and only a few globally) the ship accident in Fremantle in August 2014 highlighted the importance of meteorological tsunamis as a natural coastal hazard. This has been incorporated into the research through publications including five journal and four conference refereed papers, 13 conference presentations and 20 seminars, plus numerous mentions in the media.

16 August, 2016
New journal articles and reports on CRC research are available online.
17 May, 2016
A series of videos, now available, highlight some of the benefits of CRC research and the problems that the science is trying to solve.
Current predictions, predicted waypoints (red markers) and the course Chari’s team swam (white squares).
15 April, 2016
I recently took the plunge for the annual Port to Pub open ocean swim in WA, and I think I can now claim the unique distinction that I have first-hand experience of both a seismic tsunami and a meteotsunami. My group at UWA was predicting the currents for the race, and we predicted the occurrence of the meteotsunami.
15 March, 2016
New journal articles and reports on CRC research are available.
Undertaking storm surge research at a NSW beach. Photo: Geoscience Australia
12 November, 2015
An update on research progress from projects in the Coastal Management cluster.
The Winter 2015 edition of Fire Australia magazine.
28 July, 2015
The Winter 2015 edition of Fire Australia magazine is now available.
Locals brave the elements during April’s east coast low at Jimmy’s Beach, NSW. Photo by NSW SES.
24 July, 2015
Researchers are investigating where extreme water levels could impact Australia’s coast and what can be done to mitigate the risk.
3RRR
17 June, 2014
Einstein A Go-Go, a weekly science radio show, has featured new Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC research over the last two weeks.
Year Type Citation
2016 Conference Paper Rumsewicz, M. Research proceedings from the 2016 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC conference. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC annual conference 2016 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2016 Conference Paper Hetzel, Y., Janekovic, I. & Pattiaratchi, C. Improved predictions of Australian extreme sea levels through a coupled wave-surge model. AFAC16 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2016 Report Pattiaratchi, C. Developing better predictions for extreme water levels:Annual project report 2015-2016. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2016 Report Pattiaratchi, C., Wijeratne, E. M. S., Hetzel, Y. & Janekovic, I. Predicting continental shelf waves in Australia. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2015 Conference Paper Rumsewicz, M. Research proceedings from the 2015 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC conference. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC annual conference 2015 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
2015 Conference Paper Janekovic, I., Hetzel, Y. & Pattiaratchi, C. Improved modeling of extreme storm surges and waves along the Australian coast - non peer reviewed extended abstract. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Journal Article Pattiaratchi, C. & Wijeratne, E. M. S. Are meteotsunamis an underrated hazard?. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 373, (2015).
2015 Presentation Pattiaratchi, C., Janekovic, I. & Hetzel, Y. Developing better predictions for extreme water levels. (2015).
2015 Report Hetzel, Y. & Pattiaratchi, C. Review of Tropical-Extratropical Cyclone Transitions Annual Report 2014. (2015).
2015 Report Pattiaratchi, C. Developing better predictions for extreme water levels: Annual project report 2014-2015. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
2014 Journal Article Haigh, I. D. et al. Estimating present day extreme water level exceedance probabilities around the coastline of Australia: tides, extra-tropical storm surges and mean sea level. Climate Dynamics 42, 121-138 (2014).
2014 Journal Article Haigh, I. D. et al. Timescales for detecting a significant acceleration in sea level rise. Nature Communications 5, (2014).
2014 Journal Article Haigh, I. D. et al. Estimating present day extreme water level exceedance probabilities around the coastline of Australia: tropical cyclone-induced storm surges. Climate Dynamics 42, 139-157 (2014).
Developing better predictions and forecasts for extreme water levels around Australia
25 Aug 2014

The occurrence of extreme water levels can lead to loss of life and damage to coastal infrastructure. 

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Meteorological Tsunamis along the Australian Coastline
18 Aug 2015

Meteotsunamis incur damage on coasts all over the world. As they are more likely to occur than geophysical tsunamis, it has resulted in many coastal probelms in Australia in the lack of presence of efficient public awareness systems. Identifying where and when meteotsunamis pose a threat will aid coastal management and planning.

Key Topics:
Developing Better Predictions and Forecasts for Extreme Water Levels Around Australia
18 Aug 2015

The occurrence of extreme water levels can lead to loss of life and damage to coastal infrastructure. To better prepare, coastal engineers, emergency managers and planners require accurate estimates of extreme water levels.

Key Topics:
Yasha Hetzel Conference Poster 2016
12 Aug 2016

This project is developing better predictions and forecasts for extreme water levels arising from storm surges, surface waves, continental shelf waves, meteorological tsunamis, mean sea level rise and the transition from tropical to extra-tropical cyclones.

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