Coastal and Ocean Extremes

Using technology to predict coastal and ocean extremes to mitigate the impacts on human activity.


Our mission is to use numerical model, insitu and remote sensing data to predict coastal and ocean extreme conditions for winds, waves and sea levels and hence mitigate the impacts of extremes on human activity.


Accurate predictions of extreme ocean and coast conditions in a world with a changing climate is critically important for a host of applications. These include: the design of coastal and offshore structures, resource development in the coastal zone, the safety and economic operation of shipping, coastal planning and coastal flooding. We use a combination of numerical model, remote sensing and insitu data to undertake extreme value estimates of environmental conditions. These approaches enable the development of global-scale estimates of extreme conditions today and projections for changes over the next 100 years. We have made major advances in the development of global wave prediction models, in the construction of global satellite databases of wind speed and wave conditions and in the projections of coastal extreme sea levels and coastal flooding. These coastal flooding studies enable estimates of the economic impacts of future sea level rise to be quantified.


  • Global and regional scale numerical modelling of ocean waves
  • Satellite databases of global wind speed and wave height
  • The determination of global-scale coastal inundation due to extreme events
  • Extreme tropical cyclone impacts on the oceans
  • The Southern Ocean and its global impacts on wave conditions
  • Wave-ice impacts in changing climate scenarios
  • Ocean wave data collection from insitu instruments


  • The approaches we develop provide the detailed data required for engineering and environmental design in coastal and offshore areas. These include the design of coastal structures as well as applications for the offshore oil and gas industry and offshore renewable industries.
  • Climate change is having measurable impacts on global wind speed and wave height. This has the potential to impact offshore structures, shipping and coastal flooding and erosion. The approaches we are pioneering directly impact society by improving the resilience of societies facing these changing conditions.

Unit lead