Radar-based tracking of pollutants/larvae in the Coral Sea

Mantovanelli, Allessandra, and Heron, Mal (2012) Radar-based tracking of pollutants/larvae in the Coral Sea. In: Proceedings of the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium. 14A_3. pp. 1-5. From: 12th International Coral Reef Symposium, 9-13 July 2012, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

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A Lagrangian approach is used in physical oceanography to follow a parcel of water as it moves along its flow path and changes shape. Buoyant particles can be tracked to understand and predict the movement of pollution, flotsam and biota on the sea surface. We used data from a high-frequency radar system to compute radar-based Lagrangian trajectories in the Capricorn/Bunker region of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR, Australia). This paper describes case studies for the tracking of flotsam from the Shen Neng I grounding on Douglas Shoal in 2010, and for the destination of coastal waters adjacent Gladstone at the time of a fish disease event in September 2011. Further, the movement of a passive buoyant particle can also be inferred from Lagrangian tracking, which is a valuable technique to study connectivity between reefs. Radar-based trajectories show that wind and tidal conditions greatly affect the advection and spread of particles near the surface in shallow areas of southern GBR, but larger scale processes may be dominant during particular occasions. Therefore, the timing of larval release is crucial to determine the degree of larval retention or advection. We have made a scenario calculation for intermittent release of particles from Heron Island (GBR) for the 2009 spawning to illustrate the capability of the methodology for connectivity research; we also discuss how to couple this with a behavioral model to predict migration paths of larvae.

Item ID: 22393
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 978-0-9808572-5-2
Keywords: Great Barrier Reef, Lagrangian tracking, HF radar
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Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2012 06:13
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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