Background

Climate change is likely to have a strong influence on ocean circulation, storms, sea-level fluctuations and ocean temperature and salinity.
Though uncertainties remain, global ocean models have increased in stability as well as predictability. Furthermore there have been considerable advances of the coupling of oceanography with sedimentary submarine processes. As a result, several models have proved their ability to reproduce and predict surface sedimentary layers evolution in both coastal and deep-sea areas.
To date, no research project has attempted to couple the impact of climate change with the long-term regional seabed responses despite a consensus on the influence of climatic changes on the seabed.
Here you can find our predictions of Australian Shelf seabed sediments responses to hydrodynamic forces. These are fifty-years prediction simulations for three climatic scenarios. The results predict the regional high-risk areas in terms of sediment mobility, erosion and carbonate growth. It shows how seabed changes are likely to put our infrastructure at risk and it helps to plan and manage our coastal and offshore resources.

Introduction

This, now completed, five year project formed part of a CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Flagship programme, the major objective of which was to investigate and predict the effect of possible climate change on the Australian seabed over the next 50 years.
The Australian seabed is subjected periodically to extreme weather conditions of various types:

  • high energy waves and storms
  • strong ocean currents and turbidity/density currents

as well as more gradual non-stationary changes:

  • in carbonate productivity
  • in sediment run-off
  • in salinity, pH and temperature

Although significant progress has been made over the past decades in understanding hydrodynamic and sediment transport processes, a gap remains between the research on large scale ocean circulation and long-term regional seabed responses.
The impact of climate change on seabed sediment transport has been investigated by a state-of-the-art numerical sediment transport model, Sedsim. It links the environmental forces and seabed response into a dynamic sedimentation system.

Why this website?

The values quoted in our research are predictions of plausible changes to the Australian seabed based on the current state of understanding. The significant effects of ocean hydrodynamic forces on the projection of marine sediment transport highlight the need for improved assessment of global and regional long-term seabed monitoring systems. This work helps to better understand future seabed dynamics. It shows how seabed changes are likely to put coastal and offshore regions at risk. It provides a useful starting point to the discussion of possible response strategies. This research emphasizes the importance of seabed evolution prediction to manage coastal/offshore resources and infrastructures planning and design in a sustainable way.
We think that sharing our results is a good opportunity to improve and extend the predictions on seabed changes for Australia but also worldwide. Reports for the Australian Shelf simulations could be access online as well as publish papers and input data used for Sedsim runs.
Any comments, ideas or new available data will be appreciated and could be used to reprocess specific locations as well as new ones.


A new version of Sedsim has been released. Now Sedsim embeds an aeolian module!

All the Australian Seabed Sedsim modelling publication is now available to download

News

download Sedview application for mac osX Leopard

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Sedview for mac

New version of Sedview has just been added to the site, it can now be run on mac as an OSX application




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