A snapshot of future sea levels: photographing the king tide


More than 250 people joined in photographing our foreshores in January 2009 when NSW experienced a king tide. See these images and learn more about tides, sea levels and climate change.

The Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) has had an overwhelmingly enthusiastic response to its request for people to assist in the photographic survey of the impact of the king tide which occurred on the morning of 12 January 2009. OEH has already received over two thousand images of the event within a week of the king tide. These photographs provide a statewide snapshot of areas currently vulnerable to tidal inundation will assist planning for future implications of sea level rise.

The king tide was predicted to peak in Sydney at 2.05 metres at Fort Denison, but on the day the peak recorded was only 1.96 metres. Although some 9 cm short of the predicted king tide, the water level reached was still a very high spring tide level. It is important to understand that local meteorological and weather effects can have a very significant impact on water levels with variances of 20 cm not uncommon compared to the tide predictions. The fair weather and the presence of a high pressure system across most of coastal NSW at the time were the primary reasons for the tide level not reaching the predicted maximum.

OEH would like to thank all those who volunteered their time and photographed the king tide.

For more information please contact Team Leader Coastal Unit on (02) 4904 2590 or by email info@environment.nsw.gov.au.

Page last updated: 27 May 2011