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  • Geoscience Australia is supporting the exploration and development of offshore oil and gas resources and establishment of Australia's national representative system of marine protected areas through provision of spatial information about the physical and biological character of the seabed. Central to this approach is prediction of Australia's seabed biodiversity from spatially continuous data of physical seabed properties. However, information for these properties is usually collected at sparsely-distributed discrete locations, particularly in the deep ocean. Thus, methods for generating spatially continuous information from point samples become essential tools. Such methods are, however, often data- or even variable- specific and it is difficult to select an appropriate method for any given dataset. Improving the accuracy of these physical data for biodiversity prediction, by searching for the most robust spatial interpolation methods to predict physical seabed properties, is essential to better inform resource management practises. In this regard, we conducted a simulation experiment to compare the performance of statistical and mathematical methods for spatial interpolation using samples of seabed mud content across the Australian margin. Five factors that affect the accuracy of spatial interpolation were considered: 1) region; 2) statistical method; 3) sample density; 4) searching neighbourhood; and 5) sample stratification by geomorphic provinces. Bathymetry, distance-to-coast and slope were used as secondary variables. In this study, we only report the results of the comparison of 14 methods (37 sub-methods) using samples of seabed mud content with five levels of sample density across the southwest Australian margin. The results of the simulation experiment can be applied to spatial data modelling of various physical parameters in different disciplines and have application to a variety of resource management applications for Australia's marine region.

  • 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 Australian Geological Survey Organistaion (AGSO) has produced a set of digital bathymetry, gravity and magnetic grids for the southwest quadrant of Australia (24 - 46S, 106-140E), using all available land, marine and satellite data. The work was done in cooperation with Desmond Fitzgerald & Associates (DFA), and with significant bathymetric data input from the Australian Hydrographic Office (AHO). The results were obtained by performing a network adjustment on marine ship-track data, and combining these with onshore and satellite-derived data.

  • ESRI Grids of available bathymetry within the bounds of proposed Marine Protected Areas in the Antarctic. Interpolated datasets are also included.

  • This is a compilation of all the bathymetry data that GA holds in its database for the area that covers the Diamantina Fracture Zone to the Naturaliste Plateau. This dataset consist of different 6X4 degrees tiles that are: Tiles SI48,SJ48,SK48,SL48, SI47,SJ47, SK47,SL47, SJ46,SK46,SL46, SK45 and SL45)

  • Map showing Australias Maritime Jurisdiction post UN recommendation in April 2008 Map produced for Dfat for inclusion in IOR-SRC website. Developed from Geocat 68133 (2008)