The South East Australia Integrated Marine Observing System (SEA-IMOS) ten year science and observational plan has been designed to provide data streams across five major research themes that underpin key physical and biological processes important to the regions unique marine ecosystem. These data streams will help determine:
- The spatial and temporal variation in physical oceanographic conditions off South East Australia, including shelf and slope currents, cycles of up-welling/down-welling, and the influence of major boundary currents and climate variability.
- How variations in circulation influence connectivity and nutrient enrichment in south east Australia from the Bonney coast in western Victoria, Bass Strait, Tasmanian waters and Eastern Victoria.
- How broader oceanographic phenomena such as the Bonney upwelling shared with the SAIMOS node and the extension of the EAC through the jurisdiction of the NSW-IMOS influence nutrient enrichment, and connectivity in south east Australia ecosystem dynamics, food web structure, and key biological patterns and processes from microbes and plankton to apex predators.
- The key ecological features for the region (seafloor geomorphology) and the role this plays in establishing zones of influence for boundary layer currents, habitat distribution and ecosystem structure.
The SEA-IMOS node provides a new opportunity for IMOS to strategically invest and engage stakeholders to fill important knowledge gaps in the IMOS network through an expanded focus in South Eastern Australia.