The Moorings team at UNSW operate New South Wales scientific research moorings as part of Australia's Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) at the locations shown in the map above. These Moorings provide a view of the Oceanography of the NSW east coast region which is dominated by the effects of the East Australian Current (EAC). It is a highly dynamic region with current speeds observed in excess of 3-4 knots.
A description of each moored array follows. You can click through the links on the map or the description below to see an illustration of recent data. Note velocity data is rotated from N-S/W-E axes to along-shore/cross-shelf components. Angle of rotation for each mooring is calculated from principal component analysis over the lifetime of the mooring and varies between sites primarily due to bathymetry as shown in Fig 1 below.
The Coffs Harbour mooring array has been in operation since 2009. It consists of three moorings to provide a cross-shelf view of the East Australian Current from the coast out to the shelf edge with the inshore mooring added in April 2014. At this latitude (30 degrees South) the EAC is generally quite well constrained. Often there is a separation zone to the north off Cape Byron or to the south near Port Macquarie.
The Sydney Array began with the installation of Sydney Waters Ocean Reference Station to monitor current patterns around the deep water sewer outfall off Bondi. The two IMOS moorings at 100m and 140m were added in 2008 and have continued to provide valuable data abouth the oceanography of the Sydney region since then. Instruments and Moorings are maintained in collaboration between UNSW and OFS (Oceanographic Field Services).
Australias oldest ocean reference station the Port Hacking site recently celebrated 75 years of regular water sampling at an offshore site. In 2009 the IMOS mooring was added and includes water quality monitoring in addition to oceanographic data (temperature and velocity profiling).
With three mooring sites the Batemans Marine Park site was setup to provide a downstream look at the East Australian Current offshoot and Eddy field. In recent years this array has been downsized to two moorings and operated with external funding.
SHMO is a technical ocean buoy system designed to provide realtime high-quality oceanographic data in near realtime. This is a joint project between Oceanographic Field Services and UNSW Oceanography currently operational but in a development phase. Our prototype Moonraker Buoy deployed location is 100m south of Sow and Pigs reef in Sydney Harbour (Port Jackson). Temperature, Salinity and Water Velocity data from the buoy can be observed from: