Southern Oscillation Influences on the Wave Climate of South-Eastern Australia


  • Stuart R. Phinn
  • Peter A. Hastings


Tropical cyclones, coastal erosion, wave generation area, El-Nino Southern Oscillation


Southern Oscillation (SO) controls on wave climate in the south-eastern Australian region during the southern hemisphere summer are discussed and an analysis is undertaken of Sydney wave characteristics coincident with periods of established El-Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and anti-ENSO extreme SO states. In the late summer (February-March) period, anti-ENSO (ENSO) extremes were found to be associated with significantly higher (lower) values of Sydney deep water wave power. SO related interannual variability of eastern Australian and south-west Pacific tropical cyclone activity in terms of frequency of occurrence and spatial pattern is proposed as one mechanism underlying the identified SO/ wave climate relationships.