Hazards Coastal erosion

Last updated:18 June 2024

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Geoscience Australia’s Community Safety team supports Australia’s ability to manage the impact of coastal erosion and helps inform decisions about risk.

We contribute to each stage of the emergency management cycle to help improve preparedness, response and recovery with our focus on contributing towards community safety.

Our role

To help understand what could be at threat from coastal erosion, we provide exposure information about buildings, demographics, community infrastructure and agricultural commodities.

We also provide around the clock access to data about people, property and infrastructure potentially exposed. Our information aids in providing an understanding of the situation to targeted preparedness, response and recovery efforts.

We are the custodians of a robust collection of data sets that capture high-level environmental attributes and information including marine sediment and provide access to Geoscience Australia elevation data describing Australia's landforms and seabed.

Our mapping tools describe geomorphic features and combine satellite data with tidal modelling to map changing coastlines to better understand how beaches, sandspits, river mouths, and tidal flats change over time.

Coastal planners and managers use mapping applications such as CoastAdapt to readily visualise our coastal data layers on one consistent map.

Our products, tools and data provide a better understanding of hazard vulnerabilities for all sectors to plan, prepare and reduce exposure to natural hazards. This in turn leads to improved preparedness now and into the future.

Emerging capabilities

We engage with different sectors to provide assessments and address new challenges as they emerge.

  • We are working on improved bathymetry in shallow coastal waters to support modelling of coastal hazards such as storm surge and tsunami.
  • Our Researchers are committed to growing our knowledge base to prepare for challenges of the future.
  • We have a strong attendance at conferences and events to maintain awareness of challenges resulting from costal erosion and keep up to date with latest science.
  • Our open-source data is accessed by developers interested in solving operational challenges of reducing vulnerability and exposure to natural hazards.

Case study Storm cluster impact on coastal erosion

Developing a national method to support better coastal erosion decision making across Australia.

View case study

James Guy

We are using this research to refine our annual beach replenishment program and maintain adequate storm buffers to protect infrastructure along the Adelaide coast. (2017)

James Guy

Former team leader coastal programs – South Australian Department for Environment and Water