Locations of long-term moorings off north-west Australia. Background colour coding shows surface salinity field from numerical modelling. Low salinity waters off the North West Shelf represent the Holloway Current.


UWA student wins award for Holloway Current research based on IMOS data

University of Western Australia Oceans Institute PhD student, Mohammad Hadi Bahmanpour, was awarded the student ‘Best Poster’ at the International Coastal Symposium (ICS) held in Sydney in March.

The paper presents research on the Holloway Current along north-west Australia which is based completely on IMOS data collected from moorings co-funded by the WA Government. The poster (and the associated paper) highlights work from Hadi's PhD research and is based on mooring data from the Pilbara transect. 

Hadi and his co-authors analysed multi-year current meter data across the North West shelf of Australia. Observations show seasonal variation in the Holloway current and provide insights into the origin of the Current.

Co-authors on the paper include Professor Charitha Pattiaratchi, leader of the IMOS Ocean Gliders facility and Mr Craig Steinberg, leader of the IMOS Australian National Mooring Network.


Mohammad Hadi Bahmanpour, Charitha Pattiaratchi, Sarath Wijeratne, Craig Steinberg and Nick D’Adamo

Poster Abstract:

Analysis of multi-year current meter data across North West shelf of Australia identified various aspects of the mean flow in a macro-tidal environment. Main features of the flow appear to be a continuous alongshore south-westward flow, i.e., Holloway current located along the continental shelf edge in depths 70–150 m. 

Annually, the current transports ~ 1 Sv of lower salinity, higher temperature water from the tropical regions to North West Cape and it is at its maximum intensity during autumn/winter (Apr-Jul) when the winds are either weak or the region is dominated by south-east trade winds. 

The Autumn intensification of the Holloway Current is at phase with the annual passage of a south-westward propagating sea level anomaly originating in the Gulf of Carpentaria, some several hundred kilometres northward of where Holloway Current becomes well established. Further insights into the origin of the Holloway Current came from the use of a three-dimensional ocean circulation model. The model was able to capture the autumn intensification of the Holloway Current and its seasonal variation.

>Hadi's winning poster (PDF 500KB)

The paper on which the poster is based:

>Multi-Year Observation of the Holloway Current along the Shelf Edge of North Western Australia.

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