Estimating present day extreme water level exceedance probabilities around the coastline of Australia : tides, extra-tropical storm surges and mean sea level

Haigh, Ivan D., Wijeratne, E.M.S., MacPherson, Leigh R., Pattiaratchi, Charitha B., Mason, Matthew S., Crompton, Ryan P., & George, Steve (2014) 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(1-2), pp. 121-138.

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Abstract

The occurrence of extreme water levels along low-lying, highly populated and/or developed coastlines can lead to considerable loss of life and billions of dollars of damage to coastal infrastructure. Therefore 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 expensive wastes due to over-design are minimised. This paper estimates for the first time present day extreme water level exceedence probabilities around the whole coastline of Australia. A high-resolution depth averaged hydrodynamic model has been configured for the Australian continental shelf region and has been forced with tidal levels from a global tidal model and meteorological fields from a global reanalysis to generate a 61-year hindcast of water levels. Output from this model has been successfully validated against measurements from 30 tide gauge sites. At each numeric coastal grid point, extreme value distributions have been fitted to the derived time series of annual maxima and the several largest water levels each year to estimate exceedence probabilities. This provides a reliable estimate of water level probabilities around southern Australia; a region mainly impacted by extra-tropical cyclones. However, as the meteorological forcing used only weakly includes the effects of tropical cyclones, extreme water level probabilities are underestimated around the western, northern and north-eastern Australian coastline. In a companion paper we build on the work presented here and more accurately include tropical cyclone-induced surges in the estimation of extreme water level. The multi-decadal hindcast generated here has been used primarily to estimate extreme water level exceedance probabilities but could be used more widely in the future for a variety of other research and practical applications.

Impact and interest:

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18 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 70463
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Clim Dyn
Keywords: Extreme water levels, Storm surges, Tides, Extra-tropical cyclones, Tropical cyclones, Hurricanes, Return levels, Return periods, Australia
DOI: 10.1007/s00382-012-1652-1
ISSN: 0930-7575
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EARTH SCIENCES (040000) > ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES (040100) > Climatology (excl. Climate Change Processes) (040105)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > MARITIME ENGINEERING (091100) > Ocean Engineering (091103)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > INTERDISCIPLINARY ENGINEERING (091500) > Risk Engineering (excl. Earthquake Engineering) (091507)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Springer
Deposited On: 01 Jul 2014 00:34
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2014 23:39

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