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Australian Academy of Science, Becker House, Canberra. Friday 16 December 1994
Professor Tad Murty
Australia maintains a vast sea-level network and I will spend the next few minutes just quickly showing you the extent of this network. Then, in the remaining time, I will discuss the extreme events that we could monitor and model using this network.
These gauges (Overheads 1 and 2) which are shown are maintained by the state governments and the harbour boards. These are conventional gauges. Their accuracy is about a centimetre. The data comes to us not in real time but at the end of the month - though if there is an extreme event we have real time access. To complete that network - I have shown first the north coast, south coast and the west coast - these are the east coast gauges. This is what used to be, until a few years ago, the Australian tidal network. Basically this is what goes into the tidal prediction.
Starting nearly five years ago the National Greenhouse Advisory Committee has provided money to the National Tidal Facility to install 16 gauges (Overhead 3).
At the moment these are probably the leading-edge technology. These gauges are developed in the US. To my knowledge, at the moment only the United States and Australia have these gauges, although some other countries are in the process of acquiring them. The accuracy of these gauges is about a millimetre and these gauges are placed mainly to monitor the greenhouse effect.
Starting at about the same time AIDAB, that is, the Australian International Development Assistance Bureau, also has given some money to NTF - this is under an aid project to 11 forum countries - for a similar type of gauge (Overhead 4).