Risk Management for Onkaparinga Coastal Cliffs

Dr Matthew Duthy

Onkaparinga Coastal CliffsAbstract

Onkaparinga Council is responsible for managing approximately 30 km of coastline, comprising a wide variety of coastal land forms and geologies including spectacular cliffs and stunning beaches. However, along with its outstanding natural beauty, this coastal strip is also subject to significant and ongoing erosion and slope instability as a result of the dynamic coastal environment. The presentation will provide a general overview of the Onkaparinga coastline and the geotechnical processes that affect it. Examples of the various modes of erosion and instability will be given. The presentation will then overview Onkaparinga’s approach to formal risk management for the coastal cliffs that commenced in the early 2000s and continues to this day. A range of risk management measures have been implemented for the coastal cliffs, with the financial support and technical overview of the Coast Protection Branch, and some of these will be highlighted.

Dr Matthew DuthyMatthew Duthy

Matthew Duthy undertook his civil engineering degree at Adelaide University and completed his PhD through Flinders University. He has over twenty six years experience in civil engineering consulting, mostly in Australia but also including periods living and working in the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Most of his experience has been in the areas of soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering investigation, analysis, design and construction supervision for a wide range of infrastructure projects. Matthew’s current position is Technical Director – Ground Engineering with the Adelaide office of Aurecon. He is a former state chairman and current committee member of the Australian Geomechanics Society.


Engineers Australia members participating in AGS technical sessions can record attendance on their personal CPD logs. Members should refer to Engineers Australia CPD policy for details on CPD types, requirements and auditing guidelines.