Great Barrier Reef shipping – Gaining insight from ocean modelling, observations and cloud-based data analytics

Dr Daniel Machado1, Dr Soma Maroju2, Dr Igor Prislin3, Dr Ian Teakle4

1BMT, Melbourne, Australia, 2BMT, Houston, USA, 3BMT, Escondido, USA, 4BMT, Brisbane, Australia

The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is Australia’s most iconic Marine Park, the world’s most extensive coral reef ecosystem, of outstanding biodiversity, conservation and scientific value, recognised by UNESCO World Heritage listing. The GBR underpins economic activities, largely around tourism, with estimated annual contribution of more than $6billion to the Australian economy and supporting over 60,000 jobs. Inland, export resource industries (coal, gas and minerals) have developed substantially and are predicted to continue doing so, with increasing port facilities and shipping demands. Threats to the GBR comprise global and regional issues like climate change and coastal development, port expansion with associated dredging of shipping lanes and berth pockets for more and larger vessels. Individual vessels calling port in the GBR are predicted to enlarge from 4,000 in 2012 to 10,000 by 2032. Traffic intensifies not only from commodity exports but also cruise-ships, recreational boats, yachts and navy vessels; in hand with traffic go underlaying risks for shipping incidents. Operational oceanography has a key role for managing these risks by informing incident prevention, response preparedness and delivery. To support this, we developed a modelling framework for three-dimensional hydrodynamic and particle tracking modelling in the GBR, using the flexible mesh TUFLOWFV model with meteorological and global ocean circulation model forcing, including baroclinic and ocean turbulence coupling. We have integrated this modelling framework and publicly available in-situ metocean observation data-streams into the cloud-based analytic platform BMT Deep, providing an interactive marine data portal for analysis, from which operational insight can be gained.


Biography:
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