Regional changes in mean sea level around Western Australia between 1897 and 2008

Ivan Haigh, Matthew Eliot, Charitha Pattiaratchi, T Wahl

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paperpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the inter-annual and longer-term changes in mean sea level around Western Australia using monthly mean sea level records from 14 tide gauge sites, with the longest record at Fremantle covering from 1897 to 2008. The tide gauge records demonstrate considerable (up to 25 cm) inter-annual fluctuations in mean sea level around the coast, which are of a comparable order of magnitude to projected sea-level rise over the next 50 years. A large part of the variability is coherent across the region and is strongly correlated to the Southern Oscillation Index (a descriptor of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation), although the strength of the correlation has not been constant over time. The extended record at Fremantle indicates a rate of mean sea level rise that is comparable with estimates of global mean change over the 20th Century. However, comparison with other stations around Western Australia indicates regional variation in the rate of rise, with the southern sites showing a rate of mean sea level change less than the global average and the northern sites a rise greater than the global average. This regional pattern is not wholly explained by estimated rates of vertical land movement. Mean sea level rose rapidly in the 1920's and 1940's and again in the 1990's, but was relative stable between about 1950 and 1990. The recent acceleration from 1990 onwards is not unusual compared to that occurring at other times in the 20th century.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 20th Australasian Coastal and Ocean Engineering Conference and the 13th Australasian Port and Harbour Conference : diverse and developing
Place of PublicationBarton ACT, Australia
PublisherEngineers Australia
ISBN (Print)9780858258860
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventCoasts and Ports 2011: 20th Australasian coastal and ocean engineering conference and the 13th Australasian port and harbour conference - Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, Perth, Australia
Duration: 28 Sep 201130 Sep 2011


ConferenceCoasts and Ports 2011


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