eReefs - a new perspective on the Great Barrier Reef

Chen, Y., Minchin, S.A., Seaton, S., Joehnk, K.D., Robson, B. J., and Bai, Q. (2011) eReefs - a new perspective on the Great Barrier Reef. In: Proceedings of the 19th International Congress on Modelling and Simulation. pp. 1195-1201. From: MODSIM 2011: 19th International Congress on Modelling and Simulation, 12-16 December 2011, Perth, WA, Australia.

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The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in Queensland of Australia is recognised globally for its beauty and biodiversity. Managing the GBR is a complex challenge. Its managers grapple with multiple threats to its future across spatial and temporal scales. In order to provide the step change that is needed to support regulatory, planning and management decisions, a project called eReefs has been proposed. eReefs is an integrated operational system of data sources, forecasting and hindcasting models and visualisation and reporting services, and will deliver a comprehensive suite of management tools using real-time or near-real-time information across the paddock-to-ocean scale for the GBR. eReefs will transform science and management of the GBR by dramatically improving the transparency, repeatability and application of information, and enable dynamic and auditable knowledge to be utilised by users and managers of the GBR. It will support managers, industries, farm businesses, and the community in monitoring the current status of the GBR environment at a whole of system scale.

A small project, the eReefs Pilot, was undertaken to test the eReefs concept and to show the potential of eReefs to deliver a comprehensive suite of management tools for the GBR. The study aimed to demonstrate the potential of linking catchment, lagoon and oceanic models across the GBR environment. It made use of existing data from the Fitzroy WaterCAST catchment model and 3D (time based) polygonal contours from the Fitzroy estuary and whole of GBR (SHOC) hydrodynamic models for running, orchestrating and visualising various scenarios which reanalyzed historical data to explore what actually happened. This paper focuses on an initial step towards realising the full eReefs vision through the description of the following key deliverables of the project:

(1) Development of the eReefs Google Earth Water Quality Visualisation Platform;

(2) Orchestration of the Fitzroy Catchment, Estuary and the whole of GBR Lagoon models in a workflow environment;

(3) Examination and visualisation of a number of catchment, estuary and lagoon scenarios; and

(4) Reconstruction of two historical flood plume events in the Burdekin River and nearby coastal waters.

The eReefs Pilot project has demonstrated the type of functionality that would be possible when the fully operational eReefs is built. It has become a valuable demonstration tool for engaging investors and stakeholders in the aims of eReefs in the longer term. It has also provided an early visualisation platform for immediate rollout where the data and models exist to support the development of the full eReefs vision. The study has highlighted an opportunity to transform our understanding, knowledge and prediction of the GBR environment and ecosystem through a comprehensive and coordinated investment in an operational information platform across spatial and temporal scales for the GBR. It has paved the way for a more robust and detailed development and realisation of the fully operational eReefs in the future.

Item ID: 58041
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 978-0-9872143-1-7
Keywords: water quality visualisation platform, WaterCAST, SHOC, orchestration, workflow, reconstruction
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Funders: CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country Flagship Program
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2019 09:22
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0405 Oceanography > 040501 Biological Oceanography @ 33%
09 ENGINEERING > 0907 Environmental Engineering > 090702 Environmental Engineering Modelling @ 34%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0405 Oceanography > 040503 Physical Oceanography @ 33%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 100%
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