A Photographic Essay On Landslides Across Southeastern New South Wales Triggered By The Rainfall Events Of 2022

Phil Flentje, Connor Larkin, Damian Mulcahy, Larissa Hettiarachchi, Dan Horan, James Cox, Stuart Milling, Peter Tobin and Kevin Bogie

Abstract

Eastern Australia has experienced a significant magnitude rainfall event of extended duration in the first 7 months of 2022. Across the east coast of New South Wales (NSW) a series of troughs and East Coast Lows occurred during a La Nina weather cycle bringing above average rainfall to the region. As this first half of 2022 La Nina event was drawing to a close the Indian Ocean Dipole entered a negative phase which coincided with another intense East Coast Low in early July 2022 impacting the Illawarra region of NSW. These events caused widespread flooding and significant landslide damage to road and rail infrastructure across the state networks and local government infrastructure across NSW. During this extended wet period in the first 7 months of 2022 more than 200 landslides have been recorded across the Illawarra, Southern Highlands and Blue Mountains regions of NSW whilst many more have occurred across the north coast region. This paper presents a brief and albeit preliminary summary of the rainfall and provides a series of photographs with very brief descriptions of some of these landslide events within southeastern NSW. The intent of the paper is to provide early guidance to AGS members of the nature and form of landslides that have occurred across the Illawarra region. This paper does not discuss the dual fatality resulting from the Wentworth Falls area rockfall of the 5th April.