Dr Bernadette Sloyan
Research voyage from the continental slope to the abyssal waters off Brisbane with main objective to recover and re-deploy an array of six moorings in the East Australian Current (EAC).
The East Australian Current (EAC), a southward flow off eastern Australia, is one of the major global western boundary currents. The EAC is the dominant mechanism for the redistribution of heat and freshwater between the ocean and atmosphere in the Australian region; it is a vital component of the eastern Australian coastal ecosystem.
The aim of this observing system is to capture long time-series data for the varying flow of the EAC. The mooring array being deployed will monitor the mass, heat and freshwater transported by the EAC, which is central to our understanding of how climate signals are communicated through the ocean.
The moorings array was successfully recovered and re-deployed, enabling researchers to continue gathering data to monitor the variability of the EAC ocean properties and its current strength. The deployed array will help researchers better understand the variability of the EAC at decadal and longer term time scales. Furthermore, it will help validate and interpret the current systems in numerous climate and ocean models.
As a result of this voyage, researchers found that the EAC is a highly energetic current with rapid transition in strength and position of the southward current core.
The deployed mooring array is a part of the International Marine Observing System (IMOS) and will contribute to a much broader project to help better understand ocean variability worldwide.