The Deepwater Array sub-facility targets observations of deep ocean currents and properties needed to monitor and understand the role of the ocean on climate and climate variability. The arrays monitor ocean circulation and property variability in the ocean surrounding Australia and provide estimates of the ocean contribution to the regional and global circulation, heat and freshwater content and change. These observations contribute to improved estimates of the regional and global sea level budget and improvements to climate models via direct comparison with observations and the assimilation and development of improved model physics and parameterisations. The arrays are based on moored conductivity-temperature-depth sensors and current meters in deep waters that are specifically targeted to monitor formation of Antarctic Bottom Water, inter-basin exchange and major boundary currents.
Deepwater Arrays are currently deployed at two sites including;
- The Polynya array off the Adelie Land Coast in Antarctica, designed to monitor the transport and properties of Antarctic Bottom Water that outflow to the deep Southern Ocean from the Antarctic continental shelf.
- The Indonesian Throughflow deep water array in the Timor Passage and Ombai Strait measuring the Indonesian Throughflow current. The array is located at two strategic deep ocean channels which act as ‘chokepoints’ in the global system of ocean currents.
A third array is also planned for deployment off the coast of Brisbane in 2013. Named the East Australian Current deep water array, it is designed to monitor the East Australian Current transport.