Encyclopedia of the World's Coastal Landforms

2010 Edition
| Editors: Eric C. F. Bird


  • David Hopley
  • Scott Smithers
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8639-7_228


The Queensland coastline is 9,880 km long, and extends across 19 ° of latitude from 28 ° 10' S at the New South Wales border to 9 °15' S at Torres Strait. A marked reduction in wind and wave energy conditions takes place northward. Significant wave height, exceeded 50% of the time, is 1.15 m at the Gold Coast, 0.8 m near Rockhampton, and 0.5 m at Cairns. Similarly, the occurrence of gale force winds declines from 0.7% at Brisbane to 0.1% at Cooktown. Swell waves dominate the wave spectra as far north as the Tropic of Capricorn, but are progressively excluded to the north by the protecting influence of the Great Barrier Reef, and are totally excluded from the Gulf of Carpentaria. However, the entire Queensland coastline is prone to tropical cyclones during summer months; on average, three cyclones per year occur both in the Gulf of Carpentaria and off the eastern coast. Any part of the coast can experience storms, with central pressures of 960 mb and wind speeds in excess of...


Tropical Cyclone Great Barrier Reef Patch Reef Torres Strait Island Fringe Reef 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Hopley
    • 1
  • Scott Smithers
    • 1
  1. 1.James Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia