A wave of tsunami modellers descends on Canberra

06 December 2017

Geoscience Australia has welcomed tsunami modelling experts from across Australia for a workshop to develop nationally-consistent guidelines for tsunami hazard modelling in Australia.

The new guidelines, due for release in mid-2018, will encompass the diversity of tsunami modelling approaches within Australia, while ensuring that outputs are consistent and meet accepted scientific standards.

A photo of a group of scientists meeting to develop tsunami modelling guidelinesTsunami modelling experts are developing nationally consistent guidelines for tsunami hazard modelling

Geoscience Australia hazard modeller Dr Gareth Davies, project leader for the development of the guidelines, said this workshop will bring together tsunami researchers from across Australia to agree on a minimum set of standards for tsunami modelling into the future.

"It will bring together the community and ensure we produce outputs that are nationally consistent. This will make the tsunami modelling community in Australia much more coherent, and allow us to present ourselves as a community, rather than a disparate group of researchers."

"It might not sound ground breaking, but these guidelines will really help scientists working in this field to make sure they are producing useable outputs. The workshop will also be an excellent opportunity to strengthen relationships within the community and to share new developments in tsunami modelling within Australia."

The development of the new guidelines is supported by the Australian Tsunami Advisory Group whose members have roles in managing tsunami risk around Australia and its offshore territories. The current national guidance - the Australian Institute of Disaster Resilience Manual 46 Tsunami Emergency Planning in Australia-provides an excellent overview of tsunami science, tsunami risk assessment, warning systems, emergency planning, community education, response management and recovery in Australia. The manual however, does not provide sufficient guidance on how to conduct tsunami hazard modelling.

The tsunami hazard modelling guidelines project will fill this gap by collaboratively seeking input from scientists in government, industry and academia currently working in tsunami modelling. This collaboration supports the principles behind the National Strategy for  Disaster Resilience which recognises that a national, coordinated and cooperative effort between all sectors of society is required to enhance Australia's capacity to withstand and recover from disasters.

"We hope that by the end of the workshop, we will have a draft set of principles for tsunami modelling in Australia. The draft guidelines will be  built upon, and reviewed by external experts to make sure we have captured all of the required elements."

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