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  • 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 Murray Canyons are a group of deeply-incised submarine canyons on a steep 400-km section of the continental slope off Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Some of the canyons are amongst the largest on Earth. The canyons, some 80 km long, descend from the shelf edge to abyssal plain 5200 m deep. Sprigg Canyon, the deepest and one of the largest, has walls 2 km high. The thalwegs of the larger canyons are concave in profile, steepest on the upper continental slope (15?-30?), with about 4?gradient on the mid slope, then level out on the lower slope to merge with the 1? continental rise. Between canyons, the continental slope is slightly convex to linear with a gradient of about 5?-6?. Canyon walls commonly slope at 15?-22?. The passive continental margin narrows to 65-km at the Murray Canyons and links the Bight and Otway Basins. WNW-trending Jurassic-Cretaceous rift structures control the irregular shape of the central canyons. At the western end, large box canyons 1 km deep are incised into thick sediments of the Ceduna Sub-basin. Formed by headscarp erosion, some of these canyons have coalesced by canyon capture. The upper parts of most canyons are cut into Cretaceous sediments and in some places are floored by basement rocks. Large holes, spaced about 5 km apart and up to several hundred metres deep, along the outlet channels of the larger and steeper canyons were probably gouged by turbidity currents resulting from major slope failures at the shelf edge. Quaternary turbidites were deposited on the abyssal plain more than 100 km from the foot of slope. Canyon down-cutting was episodic since the latest Cretaceous, with peak activity since the Oligocene due to strong glacioeustatic fluctations and cycles, with canyon development occurring during lowstands and early transgressions when sediment input at the shelf edge was usually highest. The timing of canyon development is linked to major unconformities within adjacent basins, with down-cutting events recorded or inferred during early Paleocene, Middle Eocene, Early Oligocene, Oligocene/Miocene transition (~24 Ma), mid Miocene (~14 Ma) and latest Miocene-Pleistocene. The early phases involved only siliciclastic sediments, while post-early Eocene canyon cutting was dominated by biogenic carbonates generated on the shelf and upper continental slope. The Murray River dumped its sediment load directly into Sprigg Canyon during extreme lowstands of the Late Pleistocene when the Lacepede Shelf was dry land.

  • The Petrel Sub-basin Marine Environmental Survey GA-0335, (SOL5463) was undertaken using 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 10 sample dataset comprises chlorophll abc measurments from surface sediments (0-2 cm) in the Timor Sea.

  • The Petrel Sub-basin Marine Environmental Survey GA-0335, (SOL5463) was undertaken using 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 10 sample data-set comprises specific surface area and bulk (%) carbonate data from surface seabed sediments (~0-2 cm) in the Timor Sea.

  • 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 TCO2 pools (0-2cm) and fluxes calculated from bottle incubation experiments (24 hours).

  • The Petrel Sub-basin Marine Environmental Survey GA-0335, (SOL5463) was undertaken using 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 comprise TOC, TN and carbon and nitrogen isotope data from surface sediments (0-2cm) in the Timor Sea.

  • To better understand the possible relationships between the geology of the seabed and the associated biological communities, a multibeam sonar survey over New Zealand Star Bank in the eastern Bass Strait was conducted.

  • The Davis Coastal Seabed Mapping Survey, Antarctica (GA-4301 / AAS2201 / HI468) was acquired by the Australian Antarctic Division workboat Howard Burton during February-March 2010 as a component of Australian Antarctic Science (AAS) Project 2201 - Natural Variability and Human Induced Change on Antarctic Nearshore Marine Benthic Communities. The survey was undertaken as a collaboration between Geoscience Australia, the Australian Antarctic Division and the Australian Hydrographic Service (Royal Australian Navy). The objectives were to provide multibeam bathymetry and backscatter of the coastal region of the Vestfold Hills around Davis Station, Antarctica, to aid the understanding of sea bed character, benthic habitats, provide a basis for hydrodynamic modeling of water movement around Davis, and to update and extend the navigational charts of the region.

  • In March and April, 2012, Geoscience Australia undertook a seabed characterisation survey, aimed at supporting the assessment of CO2 storage potential of the Vlaming Sub-basin, Western Australia. The survey, undertaken as part of the National CO2 Infrastructure Plan program was targeted to provide an understanding of the link between the deep geological features of the area and the seabed, and connectivity between them as possible evidence for seal integrity. Data was acquired in two sections of the Rottnest Shelf lying above the regional seal - the South Perth Shale - and the underlying potentially CO2-suitable reservoir, the Gage Sandstone. Seabed samples were taken from 43 stations, and included 89 seabed grab samples. A total of 653 km2 of multibeam and backscatter data was obtained. Chirper shallow sub-bottom profile data was acquired concurrently. 6.65 km2 of side-scan sonar imagery was also obtained. The two surveyed areas, (Area 1 and Area 2), are set within a shallow sediment starved shelf setting. Area 2, situated to the southwest of Rottnest Island, is characterised by coralline red algal (rhodolith) beds, with ridges and mounds having significant rhodolith accumulations. The geomorphic expression of structural discontinuities outcropping at the seabed is evident by the presence of linear fault-like structures notable in Area 1, and north-south trending lineaments in Area 2. North-south trending structural lineaments on the outer section of Area 2 have in places, mounds standing 4-5 m above the seafloor in water depths of 80-85 m. Although there are apparent spatial correlations between seabed geomorphology and the structural geology of the basin, the precise relationship between ridges and mounds that are overlain by rhodolith accumulations, fluid seepage, and Vlaming Sub-basin geology is uncertain, and requires further work to elucidate any links.

  • Geoscience Australia undertook a marine survey of the Leveque Shelf (survey number SOL5754/GA0340), a sub-basin of the Browse Basin, in May 2013. This survey provides seabed and shallow geological information to support an assessment of the CO2 storage potential of the Browse sedimentary basin. The basin, located on the Northwest Shelf, Western Australia, was previously identified by the Carbon Storage Taskforce (2009) as potentially suitable for CO2 storage. The survey was undertaken under the Australian Government's National CO2 Infrastructure Plan (NCIP) to help identify sites suitable for the long term storage of CO2 within reasonable distances of major sources of CO2 emissions. The principal aim of the Leveque Shelf marine survey was to look for evidence of any past or current gas or fluid seepage at the seabed, and to determine whether these features are related to structures (e.g. faults) in the Leveque Shelf area that may extend to the seabed. The survey also mapped seabed habitats and biota to provide information on communities and biophysical features that may be associated with seepage. This research, combined with deeper geological studies undertaken concurrently, addresses key questions on the potential for containment of CO2 in the basin's proposed CO2 storage unit, i.e. the basal sedimentary section (Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous), and the regional integrity of the Jamieson Formation (the seal unit overlying the main reservoir).