Steve Gray

Steve Gray

Lead end user

The objective of this research is to develop strategies to mitigate damage, injury and business disruption associated with the earthquakes in the most vulnerable buildings of Australia’s cities.
This project, which is now in its utilisation phase, developed better predictions and forecasts for extreme water levels arising from storm surges, surface waves, continental shelf waves, meteorological tsunamis, mean sea level rise and the transition from tropical to extra-tropical cyclones.
The fundamental processes that cause erosion during storms are generally well understood and management strategies are available. However, the response of beaches to successive storms (storm clusters), such as those that damaged Australia’s east coast in 1974, is not well understood or managed, with the response of any given beach depending on its physical characteristics. Because of this, the likely effectiveness of a given management strategy may not be clear, such as beach nourishment (a remedial process where sand is added to a beach to restore its shape). This project developed a methodology and demonstrated it through two case study sites, which had different oceanographic and geological settings. The methodology combined expertise in statistical modelling, hydrodynamics, coastal geology, hazard mapping and impact analysis. The project, now concluded, integrated these approaches to develop tools, information and methods that can be used by others nationally. Utilisation is now in progress.
This new project began in July 2017. It will investigate the development of a pilot capability to make useful predictions of community impacts of extreme weather on residential property, improving timely mitigation actions. This pilot project will focus on severe weather events (damaging winds and heavy rain) impacting eastern Australia – events in areas where most of our population is concentrated, particularly the coastal regions of southern Queensland, New South Wales and eastern Victoria. These events, which include East Coast Lows, can occur at any time during the year, with gale or storm force winds damaging mainly coastal areas, and widespread rain damaging residential properties through rain ingress.

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