Coastal ocean radars applied to coral reef science and management

Heron, Mal, Mantovanelli, Allessandra, Massa, Diane Di, and Heron, Scott (2012) Coastal ocean radars applied to coral reef science and management. In: Proceedings of the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium, pp. 1-5. From: 12th International Coral Reef Symposium, 9-13 July 2012, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

Coastal ocean radars provide detailed surface current maps and wind directions; some types of High Frequency radar also provide maps of wave heights. Radar range is dependent upon the radar frequency, extending up to 150 km from the shore. In the case of the Great Barrier Reef, this includes the continental shelf and some open water beyond. Detailed knowledge of the dynamics of the surface water opens the way for understanding much about localised environmental conditions, connectivity between sites and the movement of nutrients and pollution in the coastal ocean. Lagrangian tracking of buoyant particles can be achieved in the Great Barrier Reef lagoon within an accuracy (error) approaching 1 km per day of drift. This is a significant capability for search and rescue operations as well as reef science and management. A sequence of surface current maps has been shown to be useful for identifying areas where the currents are high enough to induce spontaneous turbulence throughout the water column. These areas are less vulnerable to coral bleaching because the heat from insolation is distributed through the water column rather than remaining at the surface. Spatial scales (i.e., range, resolution) for ocean radars are adjustable and it is shown that mapping of surface currents on a high resolution grid is possible with radars operating in the Very High Frequency band.

Item ID: 22381
Item Type: Conference Item (Refereed Research Paper - E1)
Keywords: HF radar, surface currents, connectivity, coral bleaching, marine park management
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ISBN: 978-0-9808572-5-2
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2012 06:15
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0405 Oceanography > 040503 Physical Oceanography @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9699 Other Environment > 969902 Marine Oceanic Processes (excl. Climate Related) @ 100%
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