Philip Treloar, David Taylor, Paul Prenzler


Moreton Bay is a large coastal embayment on the south-east Queensland coast which is surrounded by the urbanised areas of greater Brisbane on its western and southern shorelines. It is protected from the open coast by a number of islands, including South Stradbroke, North Stradbroke and Moreton Islands. Tropical cyclones occasionally track far enough south to cause significant damage to south-east Queensland due to flooding, winds, waves and elevated ocean water levels. Distant tropical cyclones which may be several hundred kilometres north of Moreton Bay have been known to cause storm surge, high waves and erosion inside Moreton Bay. These events generally do not generate gale force winds within Moreton Bay, but can generate large ocean swell waves. It has been identified that the wave conditions generated from distant cyclones can cause a variation in water levels inside Moreton Bay. A detailed study was undertaken to investigate the regional wave set-up process which affects Moreton Bay. The simulation of the residual water levels within Moreton Bay using a coupled hydrodynamic and wave model system developed for this study is considerably more accurate than applying a hydrodynamic model alone and explains water level anomalies that have a tidal frequency. The paper discusses the physical process of regional wave set-up inside a large embayment, analysis of observed residual water level and also the modelling study undertaken to quantify the influence of waves on storm tide levels inside Moreton Bay. The storm tide hazard study for the Moreton Bay Councils included the effects of regional wave set-up in the specification of design water levels.


Moreton Bay; regional wave set-up; storm tide

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