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  • The Marine Survey Multibeam Bathymetry Web Map Service contains the highest-resolution multibeam bathymetry grids available for download on Geoscience Australia's website. These bathymetry grids were collected over numerous multibeam survey programs conducted in Australian mainland and Antarctic waters by both Geoscience Australia and our collaborators. Layers are grouped by survey or region and where available include both the Geoscience Australia and vessel survey identification numbers that contributed to the bathymetry grids. Bathymetry grids have been rendered over a rainbow colour-ramp with minimum and maximum depth values unique for each survey. These values are specified in each survey's layer description. The resolution of each bathymetry grid is also specified in each survey's layer description

  • This resource contains sediment grain size data and their summary statistics for the greater Darwin Harbour region. These data were derived from the measurement of sediment grain sizes from seabed samples collected as part of a baseline habitat mapping program for the Darwin Harbour region, including Bynoe Harbour. This project was funded through offset funds provided by INPEX-led Ichthys LNG Project to the Northern Territory Government’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NTG-DENR) with co-investment from Geoscience Australia (GA) and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). The intent of this program is to improve knowledge of the marine environments in the Darwin and Bynoe Harbour regions by collating and collecting baseline data that enable the creation of thematic habitat maps and information to underpin marine resource management decisions. The sediment samples were collected during multiple surveys undertaken by GA, AIMS and NTG-DENR between 2011 and 2017. A total of 499 samples are reported on from 489 stations with all grain size data published in the Marine Sediments Database (MARS). This dataset is published with the permission of the CEO, Geoscience Australia.

  • This report is the first of three reports that provide the scientific analyses and interpretations resulting from a four-year collaborative habitat mapping program undertaken within the Darwin and Bynoe Harbour region by Geoscience Australia (GA), the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and the Northern Territory Government Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). This 4 year program (2014-2018) aims to improve knowledge of the marine environments in the Darwin and Bynoe Harbour regions by collating and collecting baseline information and developing thematic habitat maps that will underpin future marine resource management decisions. This program was made possible through offset funds provided by the INPEX-operated Ichthys LNG Project to DENR, and co-investments from GA and AIMS.

  • Seagrass communities in the northwest of Torres Strait are known to disappear episodically over broad areas. Sediment mobility surveys were undertaken within two study areas during the monsoon and trade wind seasons, in the vicinity of Turnagain Island, to find out if the migration of bedforms could explain this disappearance. The two study areas covered sand bank and sand dune environments to compare and contrast their migration characteristics. Repeat multibeam sonar surveys were used to measure dune-crest migration during each season.

  • The Petrel Sub-basin Marine Environmental Survey GA-0335, (SOL5463) was undertaken by the RV Solander during May 2012 as part of the Commonwealth Government's National Low Emission Coal Initiative (NLECI). The survey was undertaken as a collaboration between the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and GA. The purpose was to acquire geophysical and biophysical data on shallow (less then 100m water depth) seabed environments within two targeted areas in the Petrel Sub-basin to support investigation for CO2 storage potential in these areas. This dataset comprises an interpreted geomorphic map. Interpreted local-scale geomorphic maps were produced for each survey area in the Petrel Sub-basin using multibeam bathymetry and backscatter grids at 2 m resolution and bathymetric derivatives (e.g. slope; 1-m contours). Five geomorphic units; bank, plain, ridge, terrace and valley, were identified and mapped using definitions suitable for interpretation at the local scale (nominally 1:10 000). Maps and polygons were manual digitised in ArcGIS using the spatial analyst and 3D analyst toolboxes.

  • The Australian exclusive economic zone (EEZ) contains1.6 million km2 of submarine plateaus, equal to about 13.8% of the world's known inventory of these features. This disproportionate occurrence of plateaus presents Australia with an increased global responsibility to understand and protect the benthic habitats and associated ecosystems. This special volume presents the results of two major marine surveys carried out on the Lord Howe Rise plateau during 2003 and 2007, during which benthic biological and geological samples, underwater photographs, video and multibean sonar bathymetry data were collected. The benthic habitats present on Lord Howe Rise include hard/rocky substrates covering a small area of volcanic peaks (around 31 km2) and parts of other larger seamounts (eg. the Lord Howe Island seamount) which support rich and abundant epifaunal assemblages dominated by suspension feeding invertebrates. These habitats appear to qualify as ecologically and biologically significant areas under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) scientific selection criterion 1 (uniqueness or rarity), 4 (vulnerability, fragility, sensitivity or slow recovery) and 7 (naturalness). The collection of papers included in this special volume represents a major advance in knowledge about benthic habitats of the Lord Howe Rise, but also about the ecology of plateaus in general.

  • This report provides a description of the CERF Marine Biodiversity Hub's survey of the Carnarvon Shelf, Western Australia, in August and September, 2008. The survey was a collaboration between the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and Geoscience Australia (GA) aboard RV Solander, as part of the Hub's Surrogates Program. The purpose of field surveys in the Surrogates Program is to collect high-quality, accurately co-located data to enable the robust testing of a range of physical parameters as surrogates of patterns of benthic biodiversity in strategically selected, spatially discrete areas that are representative of much broader benthic environments. The report describes the methods employed in the survey and the datasets collected. Additional processing of most of the physical data (wave and current measurements, multibeam sonar bathymetry and backscatter, sediment grab samples, acoustic sediment profiles) and biological data (towed underwater video and stills photography, bottom sediment samples, near-bottom plankton samples) collected is required before comparative analysis between the data sets can commence. However, a number of initial interpretations of the physical data have been made and examples of the types of biota encountered in the towed video and stills photography and initial interpretations of the benthic communities encountered, are provided. The survey was focussed on three strategically selected study areas on the southern Carnarvon Shelf at Mandu, Point Cloates and Gnaraloo. A small additional area was also examined near the Muiron Islands, in the mouth of Exmouth Gulf, at the end of the survey.

  • Keppel Bay is a large shallow coastal embayment adjacent to the mouth of the Fitzroy River, located on the central coast of Queensland. The geomorphology and distribution of sediment in Keppel Bay is complex due to the influence of Late Quaternary sea-level change, relict topography, a geologically diverse catchment, macrotidal hydrodynamic processes and flood events. Seabed morphology, sub-bottom profiles and sediment cores reveal the former path of the Fitzroy River across Keppel Bay and the continental shelf. The palaeo-Fitzroy River flowed west across the shelf to the north of Northwest Reef, a position on the shelf that is now under approximately 60 m of water. With the rise in sea level during the early Holocene, the mouth of the Fitzroy River retreated across the continental shelf and by the middle Holocene it was landwards of its present location, near Rockhampton. During the last few thousand years under a relatively stable sea level, much of the shallow inner region of Keppel Bay has been infilled and the coast has prograded several kilometres. Palaeochannels in the inner section of Keppel Bay have mostly been infilled with sediment, which mainly comprises muddy sand from the Fitzroy River. In the outer bay and on the shelf further west many relict channels have not been infilled with marine sediment indicating that the area is relatively starved of sediment. Sediments in outer Keppel Bay are dominantly relict fluvial deposits that are well sorted with only a minor mud component. Subaqueous dunes in the outer southeastern section of Keppel Bay and Centre Bank indicate that tidal currents and currents associated with the predominant southeasterly winds, appear to be transporting marine biogenic sediments and relict coarse terrigenous sediments into Keppel Bay.

  • Much of the deep sea encompasses soft-sediment plains, with very few hard substrates for invertebrates to colonise. At first glance, these habitats seem barren, but they are actually teeming with life. Compared to organisms from shallow water, many animals here are quite small. In addition, most of the animals are infaunal, meaning they live within the sediment. During feeding and burrowing, these animals form a range of features called lebensspuren, defined as any type of sedimentary structure produced by a living organism. Sampling deep sea animals can be a challenge, and traditional methods of grabs and boxcores provide only a single snapshot of a small area to characterise broad regions. Underwater imagery facilitates the characterisation of biological communities over a larger area, but the quantification of biodiversity from video is often restricted to larger epifauna, thus reducing its utility to measure biodiversity in deep sea soft sediments where animals are often small or infaunal. High resolution still images provide an interesting avenue with which to quantify biological activity based on lebensspuren. In this study, we used thousands of still images taken along the edge of the Eastern and Western margins of Australia to identify and characterise deep-sea lebensppuren. The features identified were compiled into a Lebensspuren Directory (Section 7), and the data was used to correlate abiotic factors to lebensspuren and to valuate whether the quantification of lebensspuren from still photographs is an appropriate technique for broadly quantifying biological activity and diversity in the deep sea (Sections 2 - 6).

  • A quantitative synthesis of the sedimentology and geomorphology of the South West Planning Region of Australia. Sediment data used was sourced from previous and new quantitative carbonate and grainsize data generated from surficial seabed sediment samples. All sample information and assays are available in the MARS database. The report and new assays were generated as part of an MOU with the Department of Environment and Heritage (National Oceans Office) and the results are reported in a format appropriate for use in regional marine planning.