Coastal erosion triggers project
Early alerts for storms
THE City of Mandurah will be part of a three-year research and development project to develop a national Early Warning System to alert coastal communities of impending storm wave damage, potentially saving lives and the prevention of billions of dollars in property damage.
“The aim of this research is to develop the core scientific and technical knowledge for an open coast hazard early warning system specific to Australian geological and coastal conditions while drawing on the immense experience of our overseas partners in America and Europe,” key project partner Northern Beaches Mayor Michael Regan .
Consisting of two fullyintegrated components, the proposed early warning system will comprise a system for accurately forecasting potential regional-scale storm wave damage and beachfront dunes overtopping and the ability to predict local-scale coastal erosion events referred to by coastal engineers as ‘storm demand’ at known erosion hot spots.
They will be provided in the form of high resolution, rolling three-to-seven day real-time forecasts.
At the Northern Beaches (NSW) and WA test locations, the project will evaluate a combination of different wave and waterlevel forecasting techniques, extending from coarser resolution but longer-range (up to seven days) global forecasting systems through to shorter-range (up to three days) regional systems, providing detailed near shore wave models.
Chief executive Mark Newman said the City had been identified as a coastal erosion hot spot and was invited to join the pilot project to help protect the coastal infrastructure from severe erosion.
“Mandurah has been affected by storm damage and beach erosion in the past, losing a section of Ormsby Terrace roadway, and has been running a coastal monitoring program for about 10 years,’’ he said.