Department of the Environment

About us | Contact us | Publications

Header imagesHeader imagesHeader images



Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

The Australian Coastal Zone and Global Change: Research Needs

Australian Academy of Science, Becker House, Canberra. Friday 16 December 1994

Monitoring sea level and modelling extreme events

Professor Tad Murty

Australia maintains a vast sea-level network and I will spend the next few minutes just quickly showing you the extent of this network. Then, in the remaining time, I will discuss the extreme events that we could monitor and model using this network.

Australian historical and local authorities

Overhead 1

OH 2: Australian historical and local authorities

Overhead 2

These gauges (Overheads 1 and 2) which are shown are maintained by the state governments and the harbour boards. These are conventional gauges. Their accuracy is about a centimetre. The data comes to us not in real time but at the end of the month - though if there is an extreme event we have real time access. To complete that network - I have shown first the north coast, south coast and the west coast - these are the east coast gauges. This is what used to be, until a few years ago, the Australian tidal network. Basically this is what goes into the tidal prediction.

Starting nearly five years ago the National Greenhouse Advisory Committee has provided money to the National Tidal Facility to install 16 gauges (Overhead 3).

OH 3: Australian seaframe stations

Overhead 3

At the moment these are probably the leading-edge technology. These gauges are developed in the US. To my knowledge, at the moment only the United States and Australia have these gauges, although some other countries are in the process of acquiring them. The accuracy of these gauges is about a millimetre and these gauges are placed mainly to monitor the greenhouse effect.

Starting at about the same time AIDAB, that is, the Australian International Development Assistance Bureau, also has given some money to NTF - this is under an aid project to 11 forum countries - for a similar type of gauge (Overhead 4).

OH 4: South pacific sea level and climate monitoring project

Overhead 4