Dr Catherine Chague-Goff

Research Fellow
Phone - +61 2 9717 9354


Role at ANSTO


Catherine is a Research Fellow in the Institute for Environmental Research. Her research focuses mainly on developing proxies to identify palaeotsunamis and palaeostorms in the geological record, with emphasis on geochemistry and isotopes. She has recently carried out post-tsunami and post-cyclone surveys in the Pacific.


She is a pioneer in the use of geochemical markers to assess the true extent of tsunami inundation, and identify palaeo-events, thereby providing a means to re-evaluate the magnitude of old events, which is crucial for risk mitigation and preparedness.

Catherine is also involved in studies of wetlands as archives of palaeoenvironmental changes.



Geochemistry, geochemical markers, natural hazards, wetlands, tsunamis, cyclones, proxies, isotopes, palaeoenvironmental changes.

Qualifications & Achievements

  • Supervision and co-supervision of Honours students and PhD students
  • Publication of more than 50 refereed research articles in international journals, as well as book chapters; publication of over 70 reports.
  • Managing guest editor of Sedimentary Geology Special Issue "the 2011 Tohoku-oki tsunami"
  • Invited talks at American Geophysical Union Fall meeting, 2011, 2012
  • Invited visiting Professor at the University of Hokkaido, Japan (February-March 2012)
  • Invited visiting Professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (November 2012)
  • PhD in Earth Sciences (peat geochemistry and petrology), University of Western Ontario, Canada (1994)
  • MSc in Geology (palaeomagnetism in Cretaceous), University of Cologne, Germany
  • BSc in Earth Sciences, University of Clermont-Ferrand, France

Committees, Affiliations and Appointments

  • Joint appointment with the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales
  • Reviewer for international journals (e.g.  Marine Geology, Geomorphology, International Journal of Coal Geology)
  • Research scientist and laboratory manager 2000-2008 at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Christchurch, New Zealand



Selected publications


Chagué-Goff, C., Goff, J, Wong, HKY, Cisternas, M. 2015. Insights from geochemistry and diatoms to characterise a tsunami’s deposit and maximum inundation limit. Marine Geology 359, 22-34


Goff, J. & Chagué-Goff, C. 2014. The Australian Tsunami Database – a review. Progress in Physical Geography 38(2), 218-240. doi: 10.1177/0309133314522282.


Nott, J., Chagué-Goff, C., Goff J., Sloss, C. & Riggs, N. 2013. Anatomy of sand beach ridges: evidence from severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi and its predecessors, northeast Queensland, Australia. Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Suface 118 (3), 1710-1719, doi:10.1002/jgrf.20122.


Wilcock, R.J., Monaghan, R.M., McDowell, R.W., Verburg, P., Horrox, J., Chague-Goff, C., Duncan, M.J., Rutherford, A., Zemansky, G., Scarsbrook, M.R., Wright-Stow, A.E., Howard-Williams, C. & Cotton, S. 2013. Managing pollutant inputs from pastoral dairy farming to maintain the water quality of a lake in a high-rainfall catchment. Marine and Freshwater Research 64, 447-459.


Williams, S., Goff, J., Ah Kau, J., Sale, F., Chagué-Goff, C. & Davies, T. (2013). Geological investigation of palaeotsunamis in the Samoan islands: interim report and research directions. Science of Tsunami Hazards 32 (3), 154-175.


Chague -Goff, C., Andrew, A., Szczucinski, W., Goff, J. & Nishimura, Y. 2012. Geochemical signatures up to the maximum inundation of the 2011 Tohoku-oki tsunami implications for the 869 AD Jogan and other palaeotsunamis. Sedimentary Geology 282, 65-77.


Chague-Goff, C., Goff, J., Nichol, S.L., Dudley, W., Zawadzki, A., Bennett, J.W., Mooney, S.D., Fierro, D., Heijnis, H., Dominey-Howes, D. & Courtney, C. 2012. Multi-proxy evidence for trans-Pacific tsunamis in the Hawai'ian Islands. Marine Geology 299-302, 77-89.


Chague-Goff, C., Niedzielski, P., Wong, H.K.Y., Szczucinski, W., Sugawara, D. & Goff, J. 2012. Environmental impact assessment of the 2011 Tohoku-oki tsunami on the Sendai plain. Sedimentary Geology 282, 175-187.


Goff, J., Chague-Goff, C., Nichol, S., Jaffe, B. & Dominey-Howes, D. 2012. Progress in palaeotsunami research. Sedimentary Geology 243-244, 70-88.


Goff, J. & Chague-Goff, C. 2012. A review of palaeotsunamis for the Christchurch region, New Zealand. Quaternary Science Reviews 57, 136-156.


Goff, J., Chague-Goff, C., Archer, M., Dominey-Howes, D. & Turney, C. 2012. The Eltanin asteroid impact possible South Pacific palaeomegatsunami footprint and potential implications for the Pliocene-Pleistocene transition. Journal of Quaternary Science 27, 660-670.

Goto, K., Chague-Goff, C., Goff, J., Jaffe, B. 2012. The future of tsunami research following the 2011 Tohoku-oki event. Sedimentary Geology 282, 1-13.


Ramirez-Herrera, M.-T., Lagos, M., Hutchinson, I., Kostoglodov, V., Machain, M.L., Caballero, M., Goguitchaichvili, A., Aguilar, B., Chague-Goff, C., Goff, J., Ruiz-Fernandez, A.-C., Ortiz, M., Nava, H., Bautista, F., Lopez, G.I. & Quintana, P. 2012. Extreme wave deposits on the Pacific coast of Mexico: tsunamis or storms? - A multi-proxy approach. Geomorphology 139-140, 360-371.


Szczucinski, W., Kokocinski, M., Rzeszewski, M., Chague-Goff, C., Cach o, M., Goto, K. & Sugawara, D. 2012. Sediment sources and sedimentation processes of 2011 Tohoku-oki tsunami deposits on the Sendai Plain, Japan - insights from diatoms, nannoliths and grain size distribution. Sedimentary Geology 282, 40-56.


Chague-Goff, C., Schneider, J-L., Goff, J.R., Dominey-Howes, D. & Strotz, L. 2011. Expanding the proxy toolkit to help identify past events: Lessons from the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and the 2009 South Pacific Tsunami. Earth-Science Reviews 107, 107-122.


Goto, K., Chague-Goff, C., Fujino, S., Goff, J., Jaffe, B., Nishimura, Y., Richmond, B., Sugawara, D., Szczucinski, W., Tappin, D.R., Witter, R. & Yulianto, E. 2011. New insights of tsunami hazard from the 2011 Tohoku-oki event. Marine Geology 290, 46-50.

Chague-Goff, C. 2010. Chemical signatures of palaeotsunamis: a forgotten proxy? Marine Geology 271, 67-71.

Chague-Goff, C., Mark, A.F. & Dickinson, K.J.M. 2010. Hydrological processes and chemical characteristics of low-alpine patterned wetlands, south-central New Zealand. Journal of Hydrology 385, 105-119.