Publication Details

This article was originally published as Young, RW and Bryant, EA, Catastrophic wave erosion on the southeastern coast of Australia: Impact of the Lanai tsunamis ca. 105 ka?, Geology, 20, 1992, 199-202.


Sand barriers along the coast of southern New South Wales, dating from the last interglacial, have been almost completely destroyed, most probably by a catastrophic tsunami. Evidence for catastrophic wave erosion can also be traced to heights of at least 15 m above present sea level on coastal abrasion ramps. These erosional features lie above the range of effective erosion by contemporary storm waves, and cannot be attributed to either eustatic fluctuations or local uplift. Chronological evidence for the timing of the destruction of the last interglacial barriers suggests that tsunami generated by the submarine slide off Lanai in the Hawaiian Islands 105 ka traveled across the Pacific and eroded this coast.