Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea Geomorphic Features (3DGBR, JCU, MTSRF 2.5i.1)
Posted on 16 February 2012
Project 3DGBR aimed to develop a geomorphic classification of seabed habitat types based upon a suit of standard geomorphic descriptors of topographical and geological features (e.g. Heap and Harris, 2008; IHO, 2008). This work follows on from the development of the new 100 m-resolution bathymetry grid for the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and offshore Coral Sea using all available data sources, called gbr100. These undersea landscape maps are required by marine managers to examine how effectively the current network of zoning protects the range of seabed habitats identified from the new depth model.
This phase of the project involved manual digitising of geomorphic map boundaries for the key seafloor features identified in the gbr100 grid, particularly for the inter-reefal area on the GBR shelf and in the Coral Sea Conservation Zone (http://www.environment.gov.au/coasts/mpa/coralsea/index.html). GIS spatial analysis of the gbr100 grid was conducted in order to derive a number of useful background datasets for assisting in the digitising process, such as slope, aspect, hillshading, and dense contour lines.
The digitising initially focused on the deep-water (>100 m) environment to develop geomorphic maps for the continental slope, Queensland and Townsville Troughs lying within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA), and for the Queensland Plateau, Coral Sea Basin, Tasman Basin, and Lord Howe Rise area lying within the adjoining Coral Sea Conservation Zone (CSCZ). The project lastly focuses on the shallow-water (<100 m) environment to develop geomorphic maps for the GBR shelf to complement the shallow reef feature maps provided by GBRMPA. These shallow-water geomorphic features will be added to the project as they come available.