Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Honours


School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences


Errol McLean


Durras Lake is an ICOLL located on the south coast of NSW. The Durras Lake catchment and estuarine system will be used as the basis for an assessment of appropriate methods to generate catchment flows from available climate station data. This study is based from primary research which provides underlying GIS maps and basic water balance methodology. The generated runoff, lake inflows and water loss from the lake will be derived and applied to a simplistic, but optimal water balance model. Assessments of rainfall and lake entrance breaching under current climate regimes has be derived through anomalies such as the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and The Southern Annular Mode (SAM). These associations have only very small correlations which has been previously acknowledged, and therefore for the purpose of this study rainfall variability seasonally and through coastal storms are of focus. Predictions of the model are used to understand the risk of entrance breakout and will be evaluated with respect to use within the local estuary entrance management framework. Results show that due to high rainfall variability the height at which breakout is expected deviates in relation to the water balance model over time, different rainfall amounts constitute with variating heights for the berm and this does not correspond to how long the model is run for, it is primarily on the extent of the rainfall event or events.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.