Tuggerah Lake

Physical characteristics

Latitude (ºS)-33.34
Longitude (ºE)151.50
Catchment area (km2)1714.5
Estuary area (km2)1,280.8
Estuary volume (ML)3193231.2
Average depth (m)42.4
Roy et al. (2001) classification5III/5/B
Entrance condition6I/(O)
  1. Derived from DECCW (2010) NSW estuaries and coastal catchments spatial database.
  2. Includes area mapped as open water (see note 1), mangrove and saltmarsh areas (Creese R. G., Glasby T. M., West G. and Gallen C. (2009) Mapping the habitats of NSW estuaries. Industry & Investment NSW Fisheries Final Report Series 113. Port Stephens, NSW, Australia.
  3. Based on areas at 0.6 m AHD (Roper T., Creese B., Scanes P., Stephens K., Williams R., Dela-Cruz J., Coade G. and Coates B. (2011) Assessing the condition of estuaries and coastal lake ecosystems in NSW. Office of Environment and Heritage, Sydney).
  4. Estimated by dividing the total volume at 0.6 m AHD by the total surface area of the estuary including mangrove areas but excluding saltmarsh (Roper et al., 2011)
  5. Estuary group: I = oceanic embayment, II = tide dominated estuary, III = wave dominated estuary, IV = intermittently closed estuary V = freshwater bodies
    Estuary type: 1 = ocean embayments, 3 = drowned valley estuary, 5 = barrier estuary, 6 = barrier lagoon, 7 = interbarrier estuary, 8 = saline coastal lagoon, 9 = small coastal creeks, 11 = brackish barrier lake. Evolution stage: A=youthful, B=intermediate, C=semi-mature, D=mature.
    (P. S. Roy, R. J. Williams, A. R. Jones, I. Yassini, P. J. Gibbs, B. Coates, R. J. West, P. R. Scanes, J. P. Hudson and S. Nichol (2001) Structure and Function of South-east Australian Estuaries. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 53, 351-384)
  6. Entrance conditions: O = open, T = trained, I = intermittent.

Tidal prism

The volume of water moving past a fixed cross section during each flood tide or ebb tide (i.e. slack water to slack water), is referred to as the tidal prism of an estuary.

The following table shows the measured tidal prism at the location specified, along with the tidal range for near the measurement site and at Sydney Harbour.

Location:     approximately 1km upstream from the entrance on 16/12/93

Tide stateFlow
(106 m3
tidal range (m)
Sydney Harbour
tidal range (m)
Ebb flowNot determinedNot determinedNot determined
Flood flow 2.591.371.39

Tidal survey

Tidal surveys measure the hydrodynamic behaviour of an estuary during a full tidal cycle. The parameters measured include velocity, water levels, salinity, temperature and pH.

The following tidal surveys have been undertaken on this estuary. A map shows the location and plots of the flows and water levels for the most comprehensive survey.

Copies of tidal survey reports are available from the Estuary Management Program

DateData collectedFigureReport
Oct 1975Current metering and water levels at The Entrance - velocities and tideboards.-MHL344
Oct 1975Current metering in Munmorah and Budgewoi Lakes - velocities and tideboards.-MHL344
May 1976Current metering at The Entrance and water levels to the lake, six tideboards.-MHL345
Mar to Apr 1991Tuggerah Entrance Improvements - tidal gaugings.-MHL598
Jan & Dec 1993Current metering at two lines near the entrance using ADCP over a flood tide before dredging.1988-31.pdfMHL680

Hydrographic survey

The hydrographic survey provides the depth and physical characteristics of the estuary.

The metadata associated with the survey can be found on the map sheets provided.

Map sheet number DescriptionScale    Size
56811s01.pdfTuggerah Lake entrance 1:2000615kb
56811s02.pdfTuggerah Lake entrance & nearshore1:2000622kb
56811s03.pdfTuggerah Lake entrance 1:2000881kb
56811s04.pdfTuggerah Lake entrance 1:2000573kb
56811.txtTuggerah Lake entrance xyz dataN/A231kb
Page last updated: 16 January 2013