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An ice core derived 1013-year catchment-scale annual rainfall reconstruction in subtropical eastern Australia


Tozer, CR and Vance, TR and Roberts, JL and Kiem, AS and Curran, MAJ and Moy, AD, An ice core derived 1013-year catchment-scale annual rainfall reconstruction in subtropical eastern Australia, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 20, (5) pp. 1703-1717. ISSN 1027-5606 (2016) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 The Authors Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)

DOI: doi:10.5194/hess-20-1703-2016


Paleoclimate research indicates that the Australian instrumental climate record (∼ 100 years) does not cover the full range of hydroclimatic variability that is possible. To better understand the implications of this on catchment-scale water resources management, a 1013-year (1000–2012 common era (CE)) annual rainfall reconstruction was produced for the Williams River catchment in coastal eastern Australia. No high-resolution paleoclimate proxies are located in the region and so a teleconnection between summer sea salt deposition recorded in ice cores from East Antarctica and rainfall variability in eastern Australia was exploited to reconstruct the catchment-scale rainfall record. The reconstruction shows that significantly longer and more frequent wet and dry periods were experienced in the preinstrumental compared to the instrumental period. This suggests that existing drought and flood risk assessments underestimate the true risks due to the reliance on data and statistics obtained from only the instrumental record. This raises questions about the robustness of existing water security and flood protection measures and has serious implications for water resources management, infrastructure design and catchment planning. The method used in this proof of concept study is transferable and enables similar insights into the true risk of flood/drought to be gained for other paleoclimate proxy poor regions for which suitable remote teleconnected proxies exist. This will lead to improved understanding and ability to deal with the impacts of multi-decadal to centennial hydroclimatic variability.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:rainfall, palaeoclimatology, hydrology, drought, flood, extreme, climate
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Physical geography and environmental geoscience
Research Field:Palaeoclimatology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Terrestrial systems and management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Tozer, CR (Dr Carly Tozer)
UTAS Author:Vance, TR (Dr Tessa Vance)
UTAS Author:Roberts, JL (Dr Jason Roberts)
UTAS Author:Curran, MAJ (Dr Mark Curran)
UTAS Author:Moy, AD (Dr Andrew Moy)
ID Code:109805
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:30
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2016-07-04
Last Modified:2017-10-30
Downloads:197 View Download Statistics

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