Abstract

Benthic habitats on the continental shelf are strongly influenced by exposure to the effects of surface ocean waves, and tidal, wind and density driven ocean currents. These processes combine to induce a combined flow bed shear stress upon the seabed which can mobilise sediments or directly influence organisms disturbing the benthic environment. Output from a suite of numerical models predicting these oceanic processes have been utilised to compute the combined flow bed shear stresses over the entire Australian continental shelf for an 8-year period (March 1997- February 2005 inclusive). To quantify the relative influence of extreme or catastrophic combined flow bed shear stress events and more frequent events of smaller magnitude, three methods of classifying the oceanographic levels of exposure are presented: 1. A spectral regionalisation method, 2. A method based on the shape of the probability distribution function, and 3. A method which assesses the balance between the amount of work a stress does on the seabed, and the frequency with which it occurs. Significant relationships occur between the three regionalisation maps indicating seabed exposure to oceanographic processes and physical sediment properties (mean grain size and bulk carbonate content), and water depth, particularly when distinction is made between regions dominated by high-frequency (diurnal or semi-diurnal) events and low-frequency (synoptic or annual) events. It is concluded that both magnitude and frequency of combined-flow bed shear stresses must be considered when characterising the benthic environment. The regionalisation outputs of the Australian continental shelf presented in this study are expected to be of benefit to quantifying exposure of seabed habitats on the continental shelf to oceanographic processes in future habitat classification schemes for marine planning and policy procedures.
Google map showing geographic bounding box with values North bound -9.0 East bound 160.0 West bound 96.0 South bound -44.0
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For information on acquiring this product,
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Product Type/Sub Type

dataset - External Publication - Scientific Journal Paper

Constraints

license
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence

IP Owner

Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia)

Author(s)

Date (publication)

2006

Product Type

dataset

Topic Category

geoscientificInformation

Keywords

External Publication
Scientific Journal Paper
continental margins
model
Earth Sciences

Resource Language

English

Resource Character Set

utf8

Resource Security Classification

unclassified

Geographic Extent

North bound
-9.0
East bound
160.0
West bound
96.0
South bound
-44.0

Lineage

Unknown

Digital Transfer Options

onLine

Distributor

Role
distributor
Organisation Name
Geoscience Australia
City
Canberra
Administrative Area
ACT
Postal Code
2601
Country
Australia
Email Address

Metadata File Identifier

a05f7892-cc70-7506-e044-00144fdd4fa6

Metadata Standard Name

ANZLIC Metadata Profile: An Australian/New Zealand Profile of AS/NZS ISO 19115:2005, Geographic information - Metadata

Metadata Standard Version

1.1

Metadata Date Stamp

2005-11-28

METADATA SECURITY CLASSIFICATION

unclassified

Metadata Contact

Role
pointOfContact
Organisation Name
Geoscience Australia
City
Canberra
Administrative Area
ACT
Postal Code
2601
Country
Australia
Email Address
Related Links
For information on acquiring this product,
please contact the Geoscience Australia Sales Centre via:

fax:
+61 2 6249 9960; or
phone:
1800 800 173 (within Australia);
 
+61 2 6249 9966 (outside Australia).

Please note that support hours are 9 am to 5 pm weekdays