Southern Australian IMOS
The SA-IMOS Node region lies along the world’s longest zonal, non-polar continental margin. The systems of boundary currents, associated transport of marine biota and ecosystems define its geographical extent to range from Cape Leeuwin in the west to Tasmania in the east. The region is exposed to forcing by the Southern Ocean as well as by oceanic boundary currents that enter from the west and east that can be modulated by El Nino events in the western Pacific. The oceanography and ecosystems of the region are similar to that of eastern boundary currents, where upwelling sustains planktonic systems that support pelagic fish. These in turn provide the fundamental food source for higher predators including tuna, sharks, seals, seabirds and whales.
Our focus is on determining the temporal and spatial variability of shelf currents and slope, Flinders, Leeuwin and East Australian Currents, their connectivity to the Southern Ocean and modulation by far- field forcing. We also aim to investigate how key biological patterns and processes respond to this physical forcing.