Flood and Estuary Studies

MHL has extensive experience investigating flood conditions and estuary processes along the NSW coast, including the many rivers, creeks and lagoons that drain into the ocean.
MHL's capabilities cover the full range of tasks required to carry out flood and estuary process studies from data collection to numerical modelling and analysis. This includes:
  • Hydrologic and hydrodynamic modelling
  • Real-time modelling and flood warning systems
  • Installation and maintenance of monitoring equipment
  • Telemetry and data analysis
Fundamental to these studies is MHL's knowledge and understanding of the behaviour of water, gained through a long history of involvement in hydraulic investigations.

Flood Studies

MHL carries out comprehensive flood studies to determine the nature and extent of existing and future flooding problems for a range of events up to the Probable Maximum Flood. The results of these studies identify flood related risks and hazards, assisting in the development of mitigation options and appropriate management of flood prone land.
Studies have included investigation of local overland flooding in urban and rural catchments, riverine flooding, elevated ocean level and wave action flooding in coastal environments, and combinations of these types of flooding. MHL also incorporates climate change flooding scenarios based on expected increase in rainfall and sea level rise.

Results are presented through detailed floodplain mapping :
  • inundation and velocity maps
  • hydraulic categories
  • provisional hazard categories

MHL maintains a database of historical flood data and is capable of installing instrumentation to monitor flood behaviour. MHL also has the experience to harness and manage multi-disciplinary teams for floodplain management studies.

MHL has also undertaken numerous estuary process and management studies, including detailed investigations and modelling of Intermittently Closed and Open Lakes and Lagoons (ICOLLs). We maintain web-based data and decision support tools to aid the management of estuaries such as the Hawkesbury-Nepean River system to detect algal blooms. MHL's LagoonWatch tool utilises existing environmental conditions to predict expected future conditions (including flooding) for a range of possible scenarios. The Entrance Management tool provides a system for assessing the expected behaviour of a lake or lagoon entrance, including imminent closure - an important flood mitigation, entrance clearance and environmental management tool for local governments.
MHL has also undertaken extensive gauging of tidal flows in many NSW estuaries on behalf of NSW Government.

Contacts

Bronson McPherson
Team Leader, Flood and Estuary Studies

+612 9949 0200
Ed Couriel
The Director, MHL
+612 9949 0200