Abstract

For the first time, the distribution of seafloor geomorphic features has been systematically mapped over much of the Australian margin and adjacent seafloor. Each of 21 feature types was identified using a new, 250 m spatial resolution bathymetry model and supporting literature. The total area mapped was 48.9 million km2 and included the seafloor surrounding the Australian mainland and island territories of Christmas, Cocos (Keeling), Macquarie and Norfolk Islands. Of this total mapped area, the shelf is 41.9 million km2 (21.92%), the slope 44.0 million km2 (44.80%) and the abyssal plain/deep ocean floor 42.8 million km2 (32.20%). The rise covers 97 070 km2 or 1.08% of the mapped area. A total of 6702 individual geomorphic features were mapped. Plateaus have the largest surface area and cover 1.49 million km2 or 16.54%, followed by basins (714 000 km2; 7.98%), and terraces (577 700 km2; 6.44%), with the remaining 14 types each making up 55%. Reefs, which total 4172 individual features (47 900 km2; 0.54%), are the most numerous type of geomorphic feature, principally due to the large number of individual coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef. The geomorphology of the margin is most complex where marginal plateaus, terraces, trench/troughs and submarine canyons are present. Comparison with global seafloor geomorphology indicates that the Australian margin is relatively under-represented in shelf and rise and over-represented in slope area, a pattern that reflects the mainland being bounded on three sides by rifted continent ocean margins and associated large marginal plateaus. Significantly, marginal plateaus on the Australian margin cover 20% of the total world area of marginal plateaus. The mapped area can be divided into 10 geomorphic regions by quantifying regional differences in diagnostic assemblages of features, and these regions can be used as a starting-point to infer broad-scale seafloor habitat types.
Google map showing geographic bounding box with values North bound -8.472063 East bound 171.8011 West bound 93.4123 South bound -60.9232
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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)

2008

Product Type

dataset

Topic Category

geoscientificInformation

Keywords

External Publication
Scientific Journal Paper
marine
mapping
geomorphology
continental margins
bathymetry
Earth Sciences

Resource Language

English

Resource Character Set

utf8

Resource Security Classification

unclassified

Geographic Extent

North bound
-8.472063
East bound
171.8011
West bound
93.4123
South bound
-60.9232

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-ee23-7506-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

2009-10-01

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