Join us for a special World Ocean Day event showcasing QUT’s scientific research and marine field work experience spanning from the Great Barrier Reef to Antarctica. Hear from five our researchers on a diverse range of topics and how they are tackling scientific problems related to our present and ancient oceans.
Attend in person or tune in via Zoom (password: 396198).
‘Mapping the shelf-edge geology of the Great Barrier Reef and Queensland Plateau’ with Dr Mardi McNeil
In late 2020, researchers from QUT were involved in three voyages on the Schmidt Ocean Institute research vessel Falkor, as part of its year-long campaign to circumnavigate Australia. Operations and voyage schedules were severely disrupted due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, but this provided an opportunity for Queensland-based researchers to maximise the available ship-time to conduct systematic multibeam mapping surveys along the full length of the outside edge of the Great Barrier Reef, from Thursday Island to Fraser Island, and onto the Queensland Plateau. Highlights included the discovery of an eighth detached reef in the northern GBR, huge underwater waterfalls and landslides, and 4K video imagery of the full ocean depth captured by the remotely operated vehicle ROV SuBastian.
‘Cooling and shading the Great Barrier Reef’ with Dr Luke Cravigan
This presentation will describe the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences work within the Cooling and Shading sub-program of the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program. The cooling and shading sub-program is a multi-disciplinary effort to improve the current understanding and modelling of aerosols, clouds and solar radiation over the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Improved understanding of the atmospheric environment over the GBR will be used to design and implement interventions to reduce the amount of solar radiation reaching the GBR during periods of peak coral stress. The overall aim of this research is to develop novel interventions to help keep the Great Barrier Reef resilient and sustain critical functions and values.
‘Current research on currents: Seafloor sediment in the Coral Sea and GBR’
with Dr Luke Nothdurft
Recent seafloor mapping from the Schmidt Ocean Institute research vessel Falkor, and technological advances in seafloor mapping have enabled decades of research on seafloor sediments in the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea to be viewed in a whole new light. New imagery of a complex seafloor morphology illustrates the role bottom currents have played in shaping the present-day seafloor surface, with examples like bioherms constructed by nutrient hungry algae into giant donut shapes, and sand waves and scour sculpting the edge of the continental shelf largely out of view of scientific gaze until now. The new research has the potential to shed light on important biodiversity, natural hazards and long-term oceanography questions influencing Australia’s cultural and economic future.
‘Investigating the marine atmosphere: sulfur, salt and smoke’ with Dr Joel Alroe
CSIRO’s Research Vessel Investigator provides an ideal facility for in-situ marine atmospheric research. Over five years and six voyages, ILAQH has used this platform to survey the marine atmosphere around the tropical Australian coastline and the Southern and Pacific Oceans, with a particular focus on cloud-forming aerosols. These campaigns have revealed the complex interplay between emissions from marine organisms, continental sources, and meteorology, with important implications for climate models in this region.
‘Going down south: Aerosols over Southern Ocean and coastal Antarctica’
with Dr Branka Miljevic
In 2018 – 2019 EAS scientists were onboard the Australian icebreaker Aurora Australis on a five month measurement campaign investigating atmospheric aerosols over the little-explored Southern Ocean and coastal East Antarctica. This campaign was the first ship deployment of the AIRBOX – a unique, custom-made, shipping container atmospheric laboratory. As aerosols are the largest source of uncertainty in global climate models, the campaign aimed at understanding the sources of these remote marine aerosols, their formation and their interaction with clouds in order to help improve the accuracy of current climate models for this region.