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EARTH SCIENCE | OCEANS | TIDES | TIDAL CURRENTS

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  • The AUStralian Tidal Energy (AUSTEn) project was a three year project (2018 - 2020) funded by the Australian Renewable Energy National Agency (agreement number G00902) led by the Australian Maritime College (University of Tasmania), in partnership with CSIRO and University of Queensland. The project had a strong industry support (Atlantis Resources Limited, MAKO Tidal Turbines Ltd, Spiral Energy Corporation Ltd). The aim of the project was to assess the technical and economic feasibility of tidal energy in Australia, based on the best understanding of resource achievable. For further information and output of the project, please visit the AUSTEn project website www.austen.org.au.

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    In support of future science missions, an engineering demonstration was conducted to show the ability of the nupiri muka AUV to be deployed and operated at an ice shelf. The AUV was deployed from Davis Station, Antarctica, to conduct underwater surveys in the vicinity of, and beneath, the Sørsdal ice shelf. The AUV conducted several surface transits from the station to the ice shelf, where dive missions at various depths were conducted. The primary mode of operation was the AUV tracking near the seafloor. In addition, a patch survey was conducted near the stations, where several sediment grabs were taken.

  • Interaction uncertainties between tidal energy devices and marine animals have the potential to disrupt the tidal energy industry as it advances. Best-practices for environmental impact assessments (EIAs) must be explored that are able to provide conclusive recommendations for mitigating environmental impact concerns of tidal energy developments. As the tidal energy industry is moving closer to commercial-scale array installations, the development of standardised EIAs would allow for potential impact concerns for the marine environment to be identified and minimised early in the site-development process. In an effort to help formulate a standardised EIA framework that addresses knowledge gaps in fish-current interactions at tidal energy candidate sites, this study investigated changes in fish aggregations in response to tidal currents at a tidal energy candidate site in Australia prior to turbine installation. Here, we present the dataset collected for this study that includes tidal current information from Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) measurements, volume backscattering strength from a four-frequency biological echosounder (Acoustic Zooplankton and Fish Profiler – AZFP) as an indicator for fish biomass, and fish aggregation metrics calculated from volume backscatter in post-processing. ADCP and AZFP were installed on a bottom-mounted mooring and engaged in a concurrent sampling plan for ~2.5 months from December 2018 to February 2019. The mooring was deployed in the Banks Strait, a tidal energy candidate site located in the northeast of Tasmania, Australia, at a location favourable for tidal turbine installations considering current speed, depth, substrate, sediment type and proximity to shore. The ADCP dataset includes current velocity and direction measurements at a 1 m vertical and 1-sec time intervals. The raw AZFP dataset includes volume backscattering strength collected at 4-sec time intervals with a vertical resolution of 0.072 m in raw, and 0.1 m in pre-processed form. Fish aggregation metrics were derived in post-processing and are presented by the minute along with corresponding environmental conditions for current speed, shear, temperature, diel stage, and tidal stage compiled from both AZFP and ADCP datasets.

  • The AUStralian Tidal Energy (AUSTEn) project was a three year project (2018 - 2020) funded by the Australian Renewable Energy National Agency (agreement number G00902) led by the Australian Maritime College (University of Tasmania), in partnership with CSIRO and University of Queensland. The project had a strong industry support (Atlantis Resources Limited, MAKO Tidal Turbines Ltd, Spiral Energy Corporation Ltd). The aim of the project was to assess the technical and economic feasibility of tidal energy in Australia, based on the best understanding of resource achievable. For further information and output of the project, please visit the AUSTEn project website www.austen.org.au.

  • Categories    

    The AUStralian Tidal Energy (AUSTEn) project was a three year project (2018 - 2020) funded by the Australian Renewable Energy National Agency (agreement number G00902) led by the Australian Maritime College (University of Tasmania), in partnership with CSIRO and University of Queensland. The project had a strong industry support (Atlantis Resources Limited, MAKO Tidal Turbines Ltd, Spiral Energy Corporation Ltd). The aim of the project was to assess the technical and economic feasibility of tidal energy in Australia, based on the best understanding of resource achievable. For further information and output of the project, please visit the AUSTEn project website www.austen.org.au.