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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2018-110
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 24 Apr 2018

Research article | 24 Apr 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS) and is expected to appear here in due course.

Extreme water levels, waves and coastal impacts during a severe tropical cyclone in Northeast Australia: a case study for cross-sector data sharing

Thomas R. Mortlock1,2, Daryl Metters3, Joshua Soderholm4, John Maher3, Serena B. Lee5, Geoffrey Boughton6, Nigel Stewart4, Elisa Zavadil7, and Ian D. Goodwin2 Thomas R. Mortlock et al.
  • 1Risk Frontiers, St Leonards, 2065, Australia
  • 2Department of Environmental Sciences, Macquarie University, North Ryde, 2109, Australia
  • 3Coastal Impacts Unit, Department of Environment and Science Queensland Government, Deagon, 4017, Australia
  • 4Fugro Roames, Runcorn, 4113, Australia
  • 5Griffith Centre for Coastal Management, Griffith University, Gold Coast 4215, Australia
  • 6Cyclone Testing Station, James Cook University, Douglas, 4811, Australia
  • 7Alluvium, Cremorne, 3121, Australia

Abstract. Severe Tropical Cyclone (TC) Debbie made landfall on the north 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 this 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 percent 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 two hours 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.

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Thomas R. Mortlock et al.
Thomas R. Mortlock et al.
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Short summary
Tropical Cyclone (TC) Debbie crossed the northeast coast of Australia on 27 March 2017. A multi-sector consortium collected data throughout the event to produce a holistic picture of hazards and impacts at the coast. While water levels and waves were unprecedented for this area since monitoring began, TC Debbie can be regarded a near-miss in terms of widespread coastal flooding. This work provides a rare case study of cross-sector data sharing in a natural hazard context in Australia.
Tropical Cyclone (TC) Debbie crossed the northeast coast of Australia on 27 March 2017. A...
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