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Natural Hazards

, Volume 86, Issue 2, pp 741–755 | Cite as

Wave hazards on microtidal shore platforms: testing the relationship between morphology and exposure

  • David M. KennedyEmail author
  • Daniel Ierodiaconou
  • Adam Weir
  • Barbara Brighton
Original Paper

Abstract

Open-ocean rocky coasts are dangerous environments when there is a coincidence of recreational activities occurring in areas of high wave energy. Management of drowning fatalities and near-drowning incidents on these landforms is difficult as traditional approaches to beach safety cannot be easily transferred to rocky shores. In this study, we take a morphological approach to quantifying the relative danger of shore platforms in microtidal regions. Platform elevation and nearshore water depth are key variables in determining the likelihood of wave overtopping of the platform edge. The relationship between these variables is tested along a 70-km-long section of the Otway Ranges coast in Victoria, Australia. It is found that exposure is highly variable along short (100 m scale) sections of shore platforms. This variability is driven by the complexity of the nearshore morphology which can have metre-scale relief. As exposed platforms may occur in areas of low wave energy, the morphological exposure index is combined with nearshore wave energy to produce a risk rating. Risk, like exposure, was found to be highly spatially variable. The relationship between elevation and water depth has the potential to provide managers with a tool for assessing safety on rocky shores.

Keywords

Shore platform Hazard Waves Rock fishing Water safety Rock coast Drowning 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This project was funded by the Australian Research Council Linkage Program (LP130100204). We thank the Department of Environment and Primary Industries coordinated imagery programme for access to the georegistered aerial photography and the Future Coasts Program for access to the LiDAR data. Comments on a draft of the manuscript by Colin Woodroffe and Gigi Woods were greatly appreciated as were reviews by Alan Trenhaile and an anonymous expert.

Supplementary material

11069_2016_2714_MOESM1_ESM.docx (11 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 12 kb)
11069_2016_2714_MOESM2_ESM.kml (365 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (KML 366 kb)
11069_2016_2714_MOESM3_ESM.kmz (19 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (KMZ 20 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • David M. Kennedy
    • 1
    Email author
  • Daniel Ierodiaconou
    • 2
  • Adam Weir
    • 3
  • Barbara Brighton
    • 4
  1. 1.School of GeographyThe University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  2. 2.School of Life and Environmental SciencesDeakin UniversityWarrnamboolAustralia
  3. 3.Surf Life Saving New South WalesBelroseAustralia
  4. 4.Surf Life Saving AustraliaRoseberyAustralia

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