American Society of Civil Engineers


The 1974 Storms Revisited: 25 Years Experience in Ocean Wave Measurement along the South-East Australian Coast


by Douglas Lord, (BE MengSc MIE Aust, Senior Coastal Engineering Consultant to NSW Department of Public Works and Services’ Manly Hydraulics Laboratory, 110B King Street, Manly Vale, NSW, 2093, Australia. E-mail: DLord@mhl.nsw.gov.au) and Mark Kulmar, (BE, Senior Project Engineer, NSW Department of Public Works and Services’ Manly Hydraulics Laboratory, 110B King Street, Manly Vale, NSW, 2093, Australia. E-mail: MKulmar@mhl.nsw.gov.au)

pp. 559-572, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/40549(276)44)

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Coastal Engineering 2000
Abstract: The New South Wales Department of Public Works and Services’ Manly Hydraulics Laboratory operates a network of Waverider buoys and water level recorders along the New South Wales east coast. The network comprises seven long-term Waverider stations and 14 ocean tide gauges, providing one of the most comprehensive data sets available anywhere in the world. The network was installed in response to storms in 1974 that resulted in severe damage all along the NSW coast. The MHL wave database now includes 25 years of measured data, with the oldest established water level site at Fort Denison within Sydney Harbour recording data since 1888. This paper presents an update of the wave data for various stations along the coast. In particular, the more recent analyses of the wave height recurrence data in terms of storm duration are presented and discussed. Recent trends in data collection have seen the installation of directional buoys at two locations, with a third to be installed shortly. The directional data is presented and discussed with comparisons to the previously observed and hindcast wave directions. Variations in the directional distribution from year to year are discussed. The definitive design storm event in NSW is taken as the 1974 storms, which are generally considered to have a recurrence of l-in-100 years. The available data from that storm event is considered in terms of the measured wave record to more accurately assess the recurrence for this event. Some comments on the adequacy of the longer-term records are provided.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Ocean waves
Wave measurement
Design
Australia
Coastal environment