Authors: Beaman, R.J.
Publication: D. Souter (Editor), MTSRF Great Barrier Reef Operations Committee Meeting #10, 12 August 2009. Reef and Rainforest Research Centre, Townsville, Australia.
There is a critical lack of information about the location and spatial extent of deep-water ecosystems and seabed habitats for about a third of the GBR World Heritage Area (GBRWHA) lying deeper than 200 m. In addition, most of the inter-reefal seabed shallower than 200 m on the GBR shelf, and in fact many of the 2000+ coral reefs themselves, have never been adequately mapped with modern echosounder techniques. Therefore key seabed geomorphic features, such as shoal habitats and submerged reefs, which help define the spatial boundaries of deep-water ecosystems remain largely hidden from view and outside of effective management.
However, in recent years there has been a vast increase in the amount of depth data obtained in the GBR through a series of research vessel mapping expeditions. Combined with the latest satellite remote sensing depth data and light detection and ranging (LiDAR) results, this Project will develop a new high-resolution depth model for the GBR and adjoining Coral Sea.