Benthic geomorphic habitat
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The data set provides outlines for the maximum extent of geomorphic units for Australia's Exclusive Economic Zone, including the offshore island territories, but not the Australian Antarctic Territory. These data were compiled as part of Geoscience Australia's integrated digital information system to provide improved accessibility and knowledge relating to the environmental management of Australia's oceans resources. The geomorphic units are to be used as surrogates for benthic habitats and can be best applied to the construction of bioregionalisations of the seabed. The data set also includes the name of units in the attribute table, where known, the source(s) of the names, feature codes and province codes as well as the area and perimeter of each unit. The data are accompanied by Geoscience Australia Record 2003/30. Updated October 2006.
The Oceanic Shoals survey (SOL5650, GA survey 339) was conducted on the R.V. Solander in collaboration with Geoscience Australia, the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), University of Western Australia and the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory between 12 September - 5 October, 2012. This dataset comprises an interpreted geomorphic map. Interpreted local-scale geomorphic maps were produced for each survey area in the Oceanic Shoals Commonwealth Marine Reserve (CMR) using multibeam bathymetry and backscatter grids at 2 m resolution and bathymetric derivatives (e.g. slope; 1-m contours). Six geomorphic units; bank, depression, mound, plain, scarp and terrace were identified and mapped using definitions suitable for interpretation at the local scale (nominally 1:10 000). Maps and polygons were manual digitised in ArcGIS using the spatial analyst and 3D analyst toolboxes. For further information on the geomorphic mapping methods please refer to Appendix N of the post-survey report, published as Geoscience Australia Record 2013/38: Nichol, S.L., Howard, F.J.F., Kool, J., Stowar, M., Bouchet, P., Radke, L., Siwabessy, J., Przeslawski, R., Picard, K., Alvarez de Glasby, B., Colquhoun, J., Letessier, T. & Heyward, A. 2013. Oceanic Shoals Commonwealth Marine Reserve (Timor Sea) Biodiversity Survey: GA0339/SOL5650 Post Survey Report. Record 2013/38. Geoscience Australia: Canberra. (GEOCAT #76658).
The Petrel Sub-basin Marine Environmental Survey GA-0335, (SOL5463) was undertaken by the RV Solander during May 2012 as part of the Commonwealth Government's National Low Emission Coal Initiative (NLECI). The survey was undertaken as a collaboration between the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and GA. The purpose was to acquire geophysical and biophysical data on shallow (less then 100m water depth) seabed environments within two targeted areas in the Petrel Sub-basin to support investigation for CO2 storage potential in these areas. This dataset comprises an interpreted geomorphic map. Interpreted local-scale geomorphic maps were produced for each survey area in the Petrel Sub-basin using multibeam bathymetry and backscatter grids at 2 m resolution and bathymetric derivatives (e.g. slope; 1-m contours). Five geomorphic units; bank, plain, ridge, terrace and valley, were identified and mapped using definitions suitable for interpretation at the local scale (nominally 1:10 000). Maps and polygons were manual digitised in ArcGIS using the spatial analyst and 3D analyst toolboxes.
This record describes a single aggregated dataset of the geomorphic habitat environment (facies) for Australia's 7 states and territories: New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia. The classification system contains 12 easily identifiable and representative environments: Barrier/back-barrier, Bedrock, Central Basin, Channel, Coral, Flood- and Ebb-tide Delta, Fluvial (bay-head) Delta, Intertidal Flats, Mangrove, Rocky Reef, Saltmarsh/Saltflat, Tidal Sand Banks (and Unassigned). These types represent habitats found across all coastal systems in Australia. For the New South Wales region, 134 coastal waterways are described. Most of the estuaries of New South Wales are under intense land use pressure with approximately 80% of the State's population living near an estuary (NSW Dept of Land and Water Conservation) For the Victorian region, 54 coastal waterways are described. Most of the 54 coastal waterways have a "Modified" environmental condition (as opposed to "Near Pristine"), according to the National Land and Water Resources Audit definition. For the Tasmanian region, 88 coastal waterways are described. The majority of near pristine estuaries in Tasmania are located in the south and west of the State and on Cape Barren Island, according to the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment. For the Queensland region, 213 coastal waterways are described. Southern and central Great Barrier Reef lagoon coasts have a broad spectrum of river, tide and wave- dominated estuaries. For the Northern Territory region, 63 coastal waterways are described. Estuaries on the northern Arnhem Land, Gulf of Carpentaria coasts are predominantly tide-dominated estuaries, which vary greatly in size and floodplain characteristics. For the South Australia region, 36 coastal waterways are described. Most of the 36 coastal waterways have a "Modified" environmental condition (as opposed to "Near Pristine"), according to the National Land and Water Resources Audit definition. For the Western Australia region, 103 coastal waterways are described. Western Australia has a diverse range of Estuaries due to different climates. Ranging from mostly "near pristine" and tide influenced estuaries in the north to "near pristine" wave dominated estuaries in the southwest region.