Coastal erosion mapping tool now available

By Staff Writer

Local planners and decisions makers are now able to identify areas of coastline vulnerable to erosion with an innovative mapping tool.

Launched by Greg Combet, the Minister Assisting the Minister for Climate Change, the National Coastal Landform and Stability Mapping tool will, for the first time, map landform and stability for the entire geomorphic coastline.

“Australia is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change along the shoreline, particularly given the large number of Australians who live very close to the coast,” Combet said in a statement.
“We can better understand the climate change risks facing the coastline by using this mapping tool to explore where different types of ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ coastline are located.

“Soft coastlines are vulnerable to erosion by the sea – which is likely to increase under climate change as sea level rise accelerates and storms causing coastal flooding become more frequent and intense.”

Funded by the Department of Climate Change and developed by Geoscience Australia in collaboration with the University of Tasmania, provides detailed coastal landform information to assist local planners and policy makers to prepare for the potential impacts of climate change in coastal areas.

Combet said it would provide essential baseline data to feed into the National Coastal Risk and Vulnerability Assessment, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

The Assessment will provide a preliminary analysis of the risks facing Australia’s coastline, coastal biodiversity, settlements and infrastructure.

“There is a role for all to play in identifying and managing climate change risks in a dynamic coastal environment,” Combet added.

“Taking action will help communities, environment and industries to adapt to, and prepare for, the impacts of climate change.”

Unlike other forms of maps, it provides detailed information on:

  •  what the coast is made of (such as hard rock, sand or mud);
  • landform types (such as beaches, cliffs, shore platforms or rocky slopes); and
  • how different parts of the coast are likely to respond to or resist drivers of change, such as storms and sea-level rise, which are influenced by climatic factors.

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