Council contributes funding to coastal research project

Research into the causes of coastal erosion at Amity Point (Pulan Pulan) on North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah) has been given a funding boost of almost $100,000 by Redland City Council.

Mayor Karen Williams said Council was funding the next phase of the university research project which would provide a valuable picture of the coastal processes occurring at the northern tip of the island and how it could be protected.

“We are joining with the Australian Research Council Linkage Funding Scheme to fund the second phase of this study by the University of Queensland, University of Newcastle and American university Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University over the next three years,” Cr Williams said.

“It is vital research work that will provide the Redlands Coast community with insight into what triggers erosion at Amity Point and provide Council and foreshore landowners with data to inform coastal protection works.

“The idea for this research project first came about during the earlier phases of Council’s Amity Point Shoreline Erosion Management Plan project, which underscored the importance of investigating and understanding the causes of events known as flow slides in the area.

“This led to Council funding the project’s preliminary research stage in 2017, which revealed the Rainbow Channel played a significant role in foreshore slumping along Amity Point.

“The second phase of this project, which started early this year, now seeks to understand the causes of flow slides at Amity Point and analyse their link with the Rainbow Channel that flows between the northern end of North Stradbroke Island and the southern end of Moreton Island (Moorgumpin).”

University of Queensland’s Dr Dave Callaghan, who is a member of the research team, said coastal flow slides appeared as sudden erosion in a focussed area along the shoreline, causing the foreshore to collapse.

“The flow slides have been referred to as ‘sinkholes’. This is, however, inappropriate because ‘sinkholes’ appear in association with surface soil slipping into underground cavities. There are no cavities under the Amity Point area. The observed coastal flow slides are triggered by coastal processes including waves, winds and tidal currents, which transport sand and lead to the erosion of shorelines,” Dr Callaghan said.

“Over the next three years, project work will include on-site and satellite image-based surveys of the Rainbow Channel and surrounding waters, tidal monitoring, flow slide and coastline studies, data analysis and modelling of flow slides. The team will then share the research data for peer review at domestic and international conferences.”

Councillor for North Stradbroke Island Peter Mitchell said he was pleased Council could support this research and recognised the work would help foreshore landowners prepare for flow slide events.

“By investigating how and why these flow slide events occur, foreshore landowners at Amity Point have better information to assist them in making preparations to protect their properties,” Cr Mitchell said.

“Council also has an Amity Point Shoreline Erosion Management Plan and Implementation Plan in place, available on Council’s Your Say webpage, which further assists foreshore landowners in taking the necessary steps to protect their property from flow slide events.”

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