An investigation on the high water mark as a land boundary

Klibbe, Christopher Aaron (2010) An investigation on the high water mark as a land boundary. [USQ Project]

[img] PDF

Download (17MB)


[Abstract]: The process of defining a tidal boundary is far from being a simple one. A tide will rise and fall, varying in height depending on the combined gravitational forces exerted by the Sun, the Moon and the Earth’s rotation. The tide will be at a different location at any particular point in time.

Tidal boundaries have been used by society to define where the land ends and the sea begins. Confusion over the specific location of a tidal boundary and associated ownership of adjacent land has been the subject of numerous courts throughout Australia.

This project has been undertaken to investigate the uncertainty in Queensland with regard to the definition of the high water mark. The long standing belief is that early surveyors would measure to a nature feature as defined by Directions issued from the Surveyor General and not the actual high water mark as defined by common law.

Differing determinations of a tidal boundary could occur due to the complexity of defining a tidal boundary. An analysis of Queensland Supreme Court cases regarding the definition of the high water mark will highlight the ambiguity that can occur in the definition of tidal boundaries. Issues in relation to ownership of, and public access to tidal areas, and the anticipated sea level rises will also be investigated.

The investigation illustrates that the guidance given to surveyors for defining the high water mark is vague and open for interpretation. The study also demonstrates that climate change is affecting the location of tidal boundaries and it is recommended that local and State planning authorities accommodate future sea level rises.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 18542
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: USQ Project
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Surveying and Land Information (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Supervisors: Simmons, Shane
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2011 01:20
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2011 01:20
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mean high water mark boundaries, tidal boundary, surveying; Queensland; legal interpretation; climate change impact, coastal ocean
Fields of Research (2008): 09 Engineering > 0909 Geomatic Engineering > 090906 Surveying (incl. Hydrographic Surveying)
Fields of Research (2020): 40 ENGINEERING > 4013 Geomatic engineering > 401306 Surveying (incl. hydrographic surveying)

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only