Toward national coastal water quality forecasts in Australia

Emlyn Jones1

CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Hobart, Tasmania1


Many of the issues surrounding marine management of the coastal zone relate to water quality. If numerical models are to assist in management strategies revolving around compliance and response, it is essential that the models are capable of predicting water circulation, sediment transport and biogeochemical processes. CSIRO Oceans and Atmospheres have taken the first steps in developing such systems through the eReefs partnership, where models spanning circulation, sediment transport and biogeochemistry have been constructed for the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) at 4km and 1km scales, capable of forecasts out to 4 days, within which nested high resolution models (RECOM) can capture fine scale estuary, bay and reef dynamics. These models explicitly account for freshwater, sediment and nutrient inputs from catchments and subsequently predict the response of the GBR lagoon. In this presentation we demonstrate the performance and products of the multi-disciplinary eReefs models, and project on how such a system could be developed and applied nationally to allow coastal managers a real-time 3D view of water quality around the Australian coastline.