Posted by Ph.D candidate Niamh Cullen
In May (2015) the E&PSP Group along with the newly formed TCD Natural Hazards Group hosted guest speaker Professor Jacky Croke (University of Queensland). Professor Croke gave an engaging and insightful talk on the results of four years of research carried out by her and her team following the catastrophic floods which occurred in Australia in 2011.
Following a decade of severe drought during the 1990’s, January 2011 saw one of Australia’s worst floods on record. Flood waters traveling at 1-2m per second overtopped the banks of the Lockyer River in South East Queensland, obliterating the town of Grantham and leaving a trail of destruction along its reach. The effects were devastating, causing significant loss of life, property and infrastructure. The economic cost reaching billions of dollars.
One of the primary aims of flood risk management plans is to try to predict when and where these type of events will occur. However, standard engineering solutions (often employed by governments) appear to have been horribly and tragically inadequate.
One of the key messages from Prof. Croke’s talk was the need to incorporate geomorphological understanding into flood risk management more effectively.
Prof. Croke and her team have gone some way to bridging the gap often observed between the science community and policy makers by producing a series of snappy, single page documents, akin to an ‘elevator pitch’, which aim to communicate some of the key findings of the research project.
With the growing trend for government funding to be preferentially channeled towards economically driven research, it is now more important than ever for scientists to be able to communicate the importance of their research effectively, so that important research outcomes are recognised and incorporated into future policy and management decisions.
For copies of ‘pitch’ documents please email Ramonna Dalla Ponza Ramona.Dallpozza[at]dsiti.qld.gov.au
Publications on this topic
- Croke J., Denham R., Thompson C. and Grove J. (2015) Evidence of Self-Organized Criticality in riverbank mass failures: A matter of perspective?. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, . doi:10.1002/esp.3688
- Croke, J., Reinfelds, I., Thompson, C. and Roper, E. (2014) Macrochannels and their significance for flood-risk minimisation: examples from southeast Queensland and New South Wales, Australia.Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment, 28 1: 99-112. doi:10.1007/s00477-013-0722-1
- Thompson, Chris and Croke, Jacky (2013) Geomorphic effects, flood power and channel competence of a catastrophic flood in confined and unconfined reaches of the upper Lockyer valley, south east Queensland, Australia. Geomorphology, 197 156-169. doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2013.05.006
- Croke, Jacky, Todd, Peter, Thompson, Chris, Watson, Fiona, Denham, Robert and Khanal, Giri (2013) The use of multi temporal LiDAR to assess basin-scale erosion and deposition following the catastrophic January 2011 Lockyer flood, SE Queensland, Australia. Geomorphology, 184 111-126. doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2012.11.023
- Croke, Jacky, Fryirs, Kirstie and Thompson, Christopher (2013) Channel-floodplain connectivity during an extreme flood event: Implications for erosion, deposition and sediment delivery. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 38 12: 1444-1456. doi:10.1002/esp.3430
- Grove, James R., Croke, Jacky and Thompson, Christopher (2013) Quantifying different riverbank erosion processes during an extreme flood event. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 38 12: 1393-1406. doi:10.1002/esp.3386
- Thompson, Chris, Croke, Jacky, Grove, James and Khanal, Giri (2013) Spatio-temporal changes in riverbank mass failures in the Lockyer valley, Queensland, AustraliaGeomorphology, 191 129-141. doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2013.03.010