Managing Coastal Disasters on Australia's Gold Coast
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The City of Gold Coast has a population of approximately 500,000 residents and is one of the most intensely developed coastal areas in the country. Much of this development is centered around the 52 kilometres of sandy beaches and over 600km of waterways and canals. The tidal cycle is semi-diurnal, varying from 0.2 m to 2 m with a mean of 1 m. Sediment transport is dominated by wave action with an annual longshore transport rate of 500,000 m3 per year. Three different swell regimes have been identified (Castelle et al, 2007) including highly destructive waves associated with tropical cyclones and East coast lows that generally occur from November to July. Major storm events have shaped the lifestyle and livelihoods of Gold Coast residents for many years. The earliest records of erosion date back to 1894. Cyclones and major storms have occurred in almost every decade since the 1930's. The largest storm seasons with the most damage occurred in 1954, 1967 and 1974. Since these events much effort was put into planning to mitigate risks of erosion. Recent research projects and management plans are improving the capacity of the Gold Coast community to prepare for and react to coastal disasters.
Solutions to Coastal Disasters 2008