Regional-scale 100/30 m-resolution bathymetry grids for north-eastern Australia
November 17, 2017

Author: Beaman, R.J.

Year: 2017

Publication: Map the Gaps, A GEBCO Symposium on Bathymetry, 15 November 2017. General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO), Busan, Republic of Korea


The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is the largest coral reef ecosystem on Earth and stretches over 2500 km along the north-eastern Australia margin. Bathymetry mapping of this extensive reef system is vital for the protection of the Reef allowing for the safe navigation of shipping and improved environmental management.

Project 3D-GBR is a collaboration between James Cook University and Government agencies to compile all available digital bathymetry data to develop regional-scale, 100 m and 30 m-resolution grids for the GBR and adjacent Coral Sea.

Over past ten years, deep-water multibeam surveys have revealed the highly complex shelf-edge drowned reefs and continental slope canyons. Airborne lidar bathymetry now covers about two thirds of the GBR reefs and most of the offshore Coral Sea reefs, with coverage gaps supplemented by satellite derived bathymetry. The recently-developed Intertidal Elevation Model DEM data improves the source data gap along Australia’s vast intertidal zone. All source bathymetry data were extensively edited as point clouds to remove noise, given a consistent WGS84 horizontal datum, and where possible, a mean sea level vertical datum.

The new 100/30 m bathymetry grids will be available in late 2017, and are the first of series of regional-scale grids with similar resolutions being developed for Australia’s waters.

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