Testing the Australian Megatsunami Hypothesis

Funding Agency

Australian Research Council Discovery Project DP0877572

Project Team

Name Position
Assoc. Prof. Dale Dominey-Howes Lead Chief Investigator
Professor James Goff Chief Investigator
Professor Jon Nott Chief Investigator

Project Details

This project tested the Australian Megatusnami Hypothesis by identifying, characterising, dating and correlating tsunami records on both sides of the Tasman in order to quantify regional tsunami risk. This was achieved by: identifying, analysing and testing of coastal sites purported to contain evidence for megatsunamis; identification of a Holocene sedimentary record of extreme coastal inundation in coastal NSW and west New Zealand; characterisation of storm and tsunami deposits on both sides of the Tasman; correlation of trans-Tasman events; and modelling of individual tsunamis from source to inundation.

The project trained a number of Post Doctoral Research Fellows, PhD and Honours research students.

Key publications arising from this project included:

  • Courtney, C., Dominey-Howes, D., Goff, J., Chagué-Goff, C., Switzer, A. & McFagden, B. (2012). A synthesis and review of the geological evidence for palaeotsunamis along the coast of southeast Australia: the evidence, issues and potential ways forward. Quaternary Science Reviews, 54, 99-125.
  • Dominey-Howes, D. & Goff, J. (2010). Tsunami: unexpected blow foils flawless warning. Nature, 464: 350.
  • Goff, J., Dominey-Howes, D., Chagué-Goff, C. & Courtney, C. (2010). Analysis of the Mahuika comet impact tsunami hypothesis. Marine Geology, 271, 292-296.
  • Goff, J., Weiss, R., Courtney, C. & Dominey-Howes, D. (2010). Testing the hypothesis for tsunami boulder suspension. Marine Geology, 277, 73-77.
  • Switzer, A., Mamo, B., Dominey-Howes, D., Strotz, L., Courtney, C., Jones, B., Haslet, S., & Everett, D. (2011). On the possible origins of an unusual (Mid to Late Holocene) coastal deposit, Old Punt Bay, South-East Australia. Geographical Research, 49, (4), 408-430.