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  • On behalf of Australia, and in support of the Malaysian accident investigation, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) was leading search operations for missing Malaysian airlines flight MH370 in the Southern Indian Ocean. Geoscience Australia provided advice, expertise and support to the ATSB to facilitate bathymetric surveys, which were undertaken to provide a detailed map of the sea floor topography to aid navigation during the underwater search. Prior to the bathymetric survey, very little was known about the sea floor in the MH370 search area, as few marine surveys have taken place in the area. Existing maps of the sea floor were coarse, having been derived from satellites and only providing a general indication of water depth. Before the underwater search for MH370 could begin, it was necessary to accurately map the sea floor to ensure that the search is undertaken safely and effectively. Bathymetry survey vessels spent months at sea, scanning the sea floor with multibeam sonar to gather detailed, high-resolution data. The multibeam backscatter data was acquired from Fugro Equator between June 2014 and February 2017 were processed by Geoscience Australia to 30 m resolution. This backscatter data was processed for the search area only, excluding all transit data and vessel turns. The data is presented as a yellow to bronze colour ramp, with high backscatter values in darker shades and overlain on a hillshade created from the 150 m bathymetry data. The hillshade was created with the parameters of point illumination azimuth at 45 degrees and altitude of 45 degrees.

  • This resource contains bathymetry and backscatter data for the Oceanic Shoals Commonwealth Marine Reserve (CMR) in the Timor Sea collected by Geoscience Australia during September and October 2012 on RV Solander (survey GA0339/SOL5650). The survey used a Kongsberg EM3002 300 kHz multibeam sonar system mounted in single head configuration to map four areas, covering a combined area of 507 square kilometres. Data are gridded to 2 m spatial resolution. The Oceanic Shoals Commonwealth Marine Reserve survey was undertaken as an activity within the Australian Government's National Environmental Research Program Marine Biodiversity Hub and was the key component of Research Theme 4 - Regional Biodiversity Discovery to Support Marine Bioregional Plans. Hub partners involved in the survey included the Australian Institute of Marine Science, Geoscience Australia, the University of Western Australia, Museum Victoria and the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. Data acquired during the survey included: multibeam sonar bathymetry and acoustic backscatter; sub-bottom acoustic profiles; physical samples of seabed sediments, infauna and epibenthic biota; towed underwater video and still camera observations of seabed habitats; baited video observations of demersal and pelagic fish, and; oceanographic measurements of the water column from CTD (conductivity, temperature, depth) casts and from deployment of sea surface drifters. Further information on the survey is available in the post-survey report published as Geoscience Australia Record 2013/38 (Nichol et al. 2013).<p><p>This dataset is not to be used for navigational purposes.

  • This report presents the results of seabed mapping and habitat classification surveys completed in Darwin Harbour during 2011 and 2013 as part of the Northern Territory Government's marine habitat mapping program. This research aims to provide baseline data on the existing marine habitats and characteristics of the Darwin Harbour region. It is a collaboration between Geoscience Australia (GA), the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), the Department of Land Resource Management (DLRM) and the Darwin Port Corporation. Key objectives are to: - Produce detailed maps of the bathymetry and derived parameters such as slope and rugosity, - Classify the seabed into areas of hard and soft substrate, and, - Produce seabed habitat maps (or seascapes). Data collection was completed in two stages comprising a multibeam survey, undertaken on the MV Matthew Flinders in 2011 by DLRMs predecessor, the Department of Natural Resources, Environment, the Arts and Sport (NRETAS), GA, AIMS and the Darwin Port Corporation; and, a seabed sampling survey undertaken in 2013 on the MV John Hickman, by DLRM and GA. Data acquired from the surveys included continuous high-resolution multibeam sonar bathymetry and acoustic backscatter, video and still camera observations of seabed habitats and biological communities, and physical samples of seabed sediments. Key outcomes from the surveys include: 1. Improved understanding of the seabed of Darwin Harbour. The main seabed geomorphic features identified in Darwin Harbour include banks, ridges, plains and scarps, and a deep central channel that divides into smaller and shallower channels. Acoustically hard substrates are found mostly on banks and are associated with rocky reef and sponge gardens, and are often overlain by a thin veneer of sandy sediment. In contrast, plains and channels are characterised by acoustically soft substrates and are associated with fine sediments (mud and sand). 2. Classification of physical seabed properties to produce a Seascape Map for Darwin Harbour. Six seascape classes (potential habitats) were derived using an Iterative Self Organising (ISO) unsupervised classification scheme. These six classes are related to statistically unique combinations of seabed substrate, relief, bedform and presence of sediment veneer (quite often inferred from presence of epibenthic biota). The results presented in this report demonstrate the utility of multibeam acoustic data to broadly and objectively characterise the seabed to describe the spatial distribution of key benthic habitats. This is particularly important technique in high-turbidity settings such as Darwin Harbour where the application of satellite and aerial remote sensing techniques can be limited. The results of this study will be used for the planning and analysis of data from upcoming benthic biodiversity studies as they: - Provide robust near-continuous physical variables that can be used to predictive modelling of biodiversity; - Provide high-resolution coverage of near-continuous variables that describe the key physical characteristic of the seabed of the harbour, and; - Enhance survey sample design by providing indicative locations of likely similar biology communities.

  • Geoscience Australia (GA) conducted a marine survey (GA0345/GA0346/TAN1411) of the north-eastern Browse Basin (Caswell Sub-basin) between 9 October and 9 November 2014 to acquire seabed and shallow geological information to support an assessment of the CO2 storage potential of the basin. The survey, undertaken as part of the Department of Industry and Science's National CO2 Infrastructure Plan (NCIP), aimed to identify and characterise indicators of natural hydrocarbon or fluid seepage that may indicate compromised seal integrity in the region. The survey was conducted in three legs aboard the New Zealand research vessel RV Tangaroa, and included scientists and technical staff from GA, the NZ National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd. (NIWA) and Fugro Survey Pty Ltd. Shipboard data (survey ID GA0345) collected included multibeam sonar bathymetry and backscatter over 12 areas (A1, A2, A3, A4, A6b, A7, A8, B1, C1, C2b, F1, M1) totalling 455 km2 in water depths ranging from 90 - 430 m, and 611 km of sub-bottom profile lines. Seabed samples were collected from 48 stations and included 99 Smith-McIntyre grabs and 41 piston cores. An Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) (survey ID GA0346) collected higher-resolution multibeam sonar bathymetry and backscatter data, totalling 7.7 km2, along with 71 line km of side scan sonar, underwater camera and sub-bottom profile data. Twenty two Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) missions collected 31 hours of underwater video, 657 still images, eight grabs and one core. This catalogue entry refers to p-rock (probability of rock) grids produced from the angular response curves from the multibeam backscatter data. The extraction of angular response curves from the raw Simrad multibeam data was achieved using the multibeam backscatter CMST-GA MB Process v10.10.17.0 toolbox software co-developed by the Centre for Marine Science and Technology (CMST) at Curtin University of Technology and Geoscience Australia (described in Gavrilov et al., 2005a, 2005b; Parnum, 2007). A number of corrections were introduced to the data and the angular response curves were produced as the average response curve within the adopted sliding windows in which port and starboard swath were processed separately as part of the process of the removal of the backscatter angular dependence. Angular backscatter response curves were compared to the reference response of rock/hard bottom (inferred grabs and cores) using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov goodness of fit to estimate the probability (p-value) of rock (p-rock). Finally, the IDW interpolation technique was used to produce a continuous layer of the p-value of hard bottom for each study area.

  • Geoscience Australia (GA) conducted a marine survey (GA0345/GA0346/TAN1411) of the north-eastern Browse Basin (Caswell Sub-basin) between 9 October and 9 November 2014 to acquire seabed and shallow geological information to support an assessment of the CO2 storage potential of the basin. The survey, undertaken as part of the Department of Industry and Science's National CO2 Infrastructure Plan (NCIP), aimed to identify and characterise indicators of natural hydrocarbon or fluid seepage that may indicate compromised seal integrity in the region. The survey was conducted in three legs aboard the New Zealand research vessel RV Tangaroa, and included scientists and technical staff from GA, the NZ National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd. (NIWA) and Fugro Survey Pty Ltd. Shipboard data (survey ID GA0345) collected included multibeam sonar bathymetry and backscatter over 12 areas (A1, A2, A3, A4, A6b, A7, A8, B1, C1, C2b, F1, M1) totalling 455 km2 in water depths ranging from 90 - 430 m, and 611 km of sub-bottom profile lines. Seabed samples were collected from 48 stations and included 99 Smith-McIntyre grabs and 41 piston cores. An Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) (survey ID GA0346) collected higher-resolution multibeam sonar bathymetry and backscatter data, totalling 7.7 km2, along with 71 line km of side scan sonar, underwater camera and sub-bottom profile data. Twenty two Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) missions collected 31 hours of underwater video, 657 still images, eight grabs and one core. This catalogue entry refers to the shipboard multibeam backscatter grids produced for the twelve survey areas (Areas A1, A2, A3, A4, A6b, A7, A8, B1, C1, C2b, F1b and M1; 455 km2).

  • 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.

  • This resource contains bathymetry and backscatter data for the Oceanic Shoals Commonwealth Marine Reserve (CMR) in the Timor Sea collected by Geoscience Australia during September and October 2012 on RV Solander (survey GA0339/SOL5650). The survey used a Kongsberg EM3002 300 kHz multibeam sonar system mounted in single head configuration to map four areas, covering a combined area of 507 square kilometres. Data are gridded to 2 m spatial resolution. The Oceanic Shoals Commonwealth Marine Reserve survey was undertaken as an activity within the Australian Government's National Environmental Research Program Marine Biodiversity Hub and was the key component of Research Theme 4 - Regional Biodiversity Discovery to Support Marine Bioregional Plans. Hub partners involved in the survey included the Australian Institute of Marine Science, Geoscience Australia, the University of Western Australia, Museum Victoria and the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. Data acquired during the survey included: multibeam sonar bathymetry and acoustic backscatter; sub-bottom acoustic profiles; physical samples of seabed sediments, infauna and epibenthic biota; towed underwater video and still camera observations of seabed habitats; baited video observations of demersal and pelagic fish, and; oceanographic measurements of the water column from CTD (conductivity, temperature, depth) casts and from deployment of sea surface drifters. Further information on the survey is available in the post-survey report published as Geoscience Australia Record 2013/38 (Nichol et al. 2013).

  • Geoscience Australia (GA) conducted a marine survey (GA0345/GA0346/TAN1411) of the north-eastern Browse Basin (Caswell Sub-basin) between 9 October and 9 November 2014 to acquire seabed and shallow geological information to support an assessment of the CO2 storage potential of the basin (see eCat record 83199 for full details: see link right). The survey was conducted in three legs aboard the New Zealand research vessel RV Tangaroa, and included scientists and technical staff from GA, the NZ National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd. (NIWA) and Fugro Survey Pty Ltd. Shipboard data (survey ID GA0345) collected included multibeam sonar bathymetry and backscatter over 12 areas (A1, A2, A3, A4, A6b, A7, A8, B1, C1, C2b, F1, M1) totalling 455 km2 in water depths ranging from 90 - 430 m, and 611 km of sub-bottom profile lines. Seabed samples were collected from 48 stations and included 99 Smith-McIntyre grabs and 41 piston cores. An Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) (survey ID GA0346) collected higher-resolution multibeam sonar bathymetry and backscatter data, totalling 7.7 km2, along with 71 line km of side scan sonar, underwater camera and sub-bottom profile data. Twenty two Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) missions collected 31 hours of underwater video, 657 still images, eight grabs and one core. This catalogue entry refers to imagery data acquired from the ROVs downward facing camera during survey GA0345/GA0346/TAN1411. For the purposes of underwater imaging, the ROV was fitted with two video channels with pan and tilt, one colour Charged Coupled Device (CCD) camera, one low-light, black and white camera, one rear camera, one zoom camera, one downward facing digital HD video/stills camera, and two downward-facing lasers for scaling. Lighting was provided by four 150 W quartz-halogen lights. The ROV was deployed in a side entry garage Tether Management System (TMS) (100 m of tether cable) from the port side of the RV Tangaroa using a Launch and Recovery System (comprising a marine crane, umbilical winch and hydraulic power pack). During a `typical' deployment, the TMS was positioned approximately 20 m above the seabed, while the ROV surveyed a pre-determined transit line below the TMS at an altitude of 0.5 to 2 m above the seabed. Eight vectorised horizontal thrusters and two vertical thrusters controlled ROV motion once away from the TMS. To correlate the position of seabed video and still images with physical features in the multibeam bathymetry, the position of the ROV was tracked using a HiPAP500 Ultra-short Baseline (USBL) acoustic tracking system. A beacon was initially attached to the ROV and on the latter half of operations to the TMS, which provided both Dynamic Positioning and ROV operators with a visual reference of the position of the TMS with respect to the ship and ROV. Video footage was transmitted in real-time via the ships network to various locations throughout the ship using the `Blue Iris' software package. Live video feed to the surface enabled science operators to monitor and broadly characterise the seabed environment and ROV operators to regulate the altitude of the TMS and ROV. High-resolution still photographs (captured opportunistically along each transect) were used in conjunction with the video footage to assist identification of biota and seabed features. Upon retrieval of the ROV, video and still images were downloaded and renamed by station and a sequential image number. In the folder 'TAN1411_ROV', still images (.jpg files) and video (AVCHD .m2ts files) are arranged by study area with sub-folders named according to mission number, station number, gear code and camera number (e.g. M2_070_ROVCAM_022 = still images acquired during ROV mission 2 at station 070). USBL files (.csv) are located in each sub-folder and provide continuous navigational information on location, time (including UTC) and depth of ROV still and video imagery. Two master .csv files are located in folder 'TAN1411_ROV'.

  • This dataset contains probability values of rocky/hard seabed (multibeam angular backscatter response derived product) from seabed mapping surveys in Darwin Harbour. The survey was undertaken during the period 24 June to 20 August 2011 by iXSurvey Australia Pty Ltd for the Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport (NRETAS) in collaboration with Geoscience Australia (GA), the Darwin Port Corporation (DPC) and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) using GA's Kongsberg EM3002D multibeam sonar system and DPC's vessel Matthew Flinders. The survey obtained detailed bathymetric map of Darwin Harbour. Refer to the GA record ' Mapping and Classification of Darwin Harbour Seabed' for further information on processing techniques applied (GeoCat: 79212; GA Record: 2015/xx)

  • Geoscience Australia marine reconnaissance survey GA2476 to the west Australian continental margin was undertaken as part of the Australian Government's Offshore Energy Program between 25 October 2008 and 19 January 2009 using the German research vessel RV Sonne. The survey acquired geological, geophysical, oceanographic and biological data over poorly known areas of Australia's western continental margin in order to improve knowledge of frontier sedimentary basins and marginal plateaus, and allow assessment of their petroleum prospectivity and environmental significance. Four key areas were targeted: the Zeewyck and Houtman sub-basins (Perth Basin), the Cuvier margin (northwest of the Southern Carnarvon Basin), and the Cuvier Plateau (a sub-feature of the Wallaby Plateau). These areas were mapped using multi-beam sonar, shallow seismic, magnetics and gravity. Over the duration of the survey a total of 229,000 km2 (26,500 line-km) of seabed was mapped with the multibeam sonar, 25,000 line-km of digital shallow seismic reflection data and 25,000 line-km of gravity and magnetic data. Sampling sites covering a range of seabed features were identified from the preliminary analysis of the multi-beam bathymetry grids and pre-existing geophysical data (seismic and gravity). A variety of sampling equipment was deployed over the duration of the survey, including ocean floor observation systems (OFOS), deep-sea TV controlled grab (BODO), boxcores, rock dredges, conductivity-temperature depth profilers (CTD), and epibenthic sleds. Different combinations of equipment were used at each station depending on the morphology of the seabed and objectives of each site. A total of 62 stations were examined throughout the survey, including 16 over the Houtman Sub-basin, 16 over the Zeewyck Subbasin, 13 in the Cuvier margin, 12 over the Cuvier Plateau and four in the Indian Ocean. This dataset comprises total chlorin concentrations and chlorin indices measured on the upper 2 cm of seabed sediments. For more information: Daniell, J., Jorgensen, D.C., Anderson, T., Borissova, I., Burq, S., Heap, A.D., Hughes, M., Mantle, D., Nelson, G., Nichol, S., Nicholson, C., Payne, D., Przeslawski, R., Radke, L., Siwabessy, J., Smith, C., and Shipboard Party, (2010). Frontier Basins of the West Australian Continental Margin: Post-survey Report of Marine Reconnaissance and Geological Sampling Survey GA2476. Geoscience Australia, Record 2009/38, 229pp