Extreme water levels, waves and coastal impacts during a severe tropical cyclone in northeastern Australia

a case study for cross-sector data sharing

Thomas R. Mortlock*, Daryl Metters, Joshua Soderholm, John Maher, Serena B. Lee, Geoffrey Boughton, Nigel Stewart, Elisa Zavadil, Ian D. Goodwin

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    2 Citations (Scopus)
    44 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Severe tropical cyclone (TC) Debbie made landfall on the northern Queensland coast of Australia on 27 March 2017 after crossing the Great Barrier Reef as a slow-moving Category 4 system. Groups from industry, government and academia collected coastal hazard and impact data before, during and after the event and shared these data to produce a holistic picture of TC Debbie at the coast. Results showed the still water level exceeded the highest astronomical tide by almost a metre. Waves added a further 16% to water levels along the open coast, and were probably unprecedented for this area since monitoring began. In most places, coastal barriers were not breached and as a result there was net offshore sand transport. If landfall had occurred 2h earlier with the high tide, widespread inundation and overwash would have ensued. This paper provides a case study of effective cross-sector data sharing in a natural hazard context. It advocates for a shared information platform for coastal extremes in Australia to help improve the understanding and prediction of TC-related coastal hazards in the future.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2603-2623
    Number of pages21
    JournalNatural Hazards and Earth System Sciences
    Volume18
    Issue number9
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Sep 2018

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

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