Erosion prone area

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Key finding

Coastal erosion continues to impact the Queensland coast, with several major incidents at developed areas.

Coastal regions (information applies statewide, map locations are for reference only)

Coastal erosion is a natural feature of sedimentary coasts and has multiple causes including waves, tidal currents, channel migration and sediment supply changes. Queensland is particularly vulnerable to coastal erosion because of its extensive erodible sandy and muddy landforms and exposure to extreme cyclones and storms.

Coastal ecosystems are well adapted to these dynamic changes on the coast: while extensive erosion can occur, dune rebuilding and plant recolonisation usually follow in time.

Human settlements close to the coast are at risk from sea erosion. The consequence is either implementation of erosion protection works to halt the erosion or loss of the development.

Erosion vulnerability of the coast has been determined and mapped in all but the more remote areas. Development activity in these erosion-prone areas is regulated to both minimise the risk to people and property and to preserve the natural coastal processes, landforms and vegetation which buffer communities from these impacts.

The impact of climate change on the coast especially from rising sea levels has been recognised and incorporated into the mapping of erosion prone areas.

Notable recent coastal erosion occurred at:

  • Great Keppel Island—a tourist facility was severely impacted by cyclones Dylan (2014) and Marcia (2015)
  • Gold Coast—cyclone Dylan caused extensive erosion, threatening properties and disrupting the tourism industry
  • Bribie Island—cyclone Oswald’s high water levels and heavy seas eroded up to 25m in some northern parts of the southern Queensland island and exposed previously buried World War Two bunkers.

More information:

Indicator: Coastal hazards – erosion prone area

Analysis of land within the Erosion Prone Area, including projected climate change impacts to 2100, as per State Coastal Policy. Erosion is due to storm impact and long term trends of sediment loss and channel migration. Erosion prone area is current as at July 2014.

Download data from Queensland Government data