Multi-decadal Ocean Change
How will the key science questions be addressed?
To determine the variability in EAC strength from its source in the Coral Sea, the seasonal and spatial variability in the separation of the EAC from central NSW, and the EAC’s southward extension.
The NSW-IMOS alongshore mooring array is designed to allow monitoring of the temperature gradients in the EAC along the coast of NSW, north (Coffs) and south (Sydney) of the separation zone. Combined with the proposed mooring arrays of SE Qld (Q-IMOS) and the BWC end point array we will gain valuable information in seasonal and decadal changes in the EAC and its extension along the coast of southern NSW. This data set complements the data being collected at the Maria Island NRS (Tas-IMOS). Together these data will inform the large scale changes along Australia’s eastern continental shelf. This data will also be combined with crucial biological data (such as kelp distribution and abundance, CPR plankton) providing information on range shifting which is indicative of changes in the flow field. Future emphasis on instigating quantitative and sustained biological and chemical time-series data streams from physical properties moorings at Coffs Harbour, Eden and Maria Island, will necessitate new scientific aims from the 3 eastern state IMOS nodes (NSW-IMOS, Q-IMOS and Tas-IMOS).
Contribute to monitoring the Bass Strait outflow and the northward coastally trapped wave propagation.
The deployment of a mooring pair in southern NSW will monitor the Bass Strait outflow and the addition of pressure sensors on each of the mooring pairs will allow for the measurement of coastally trapped wave propagation northward along the coast of NSW.
Contribute to the national backbone through the National Reference Station network and the supplementation of Satellite Remote Sensing products with local data.
Three of the NRS incorporate the long-term (~70 y) hydrographic sampling locations on the continental shelf (Port Hacking, Maria Island, Rottnest Island) and will provide biogeochemical data on the effect of boundary current changes. An IMOS-appointed bio-optical working group containing members of NSW-IMOS are using the NRS data in a national effort to validate bio-optical signals from the moored time-series at each NRS.