Upwelling and bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef (MTSRF Project 2.5i.2)

As part of MTSRF Task 2.5i.2, a range of indices were investigated to quantify upwelling on the central Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia. These indices are necessary for exploring environmental and biological relationships in areas where upwelling may be sporadic and less intense, especially along western boundary currents such as the East Australian Current. 'Upwelling days' (the number of days of upwelling, inferred from erratic downward temperature spikes) and diurnal variation in subsurface temperature (max-min, 20m depth) were found to be the best metrics to describe the duration and intensity of upwelling events, respectively. These were used to examine key characteristics of shelf-break upwelling in the central GBR. Temperature logger data (20m) were used to derive 'upwelling days' and the local mean summer temperatures (Dec - Feb) and NOAA AVHRR Pathfinder data were used to derive regional SSTs.

To investigate the best metrics to quantify upwelling and to explore relationships between these metrics, SST and coral bleaching.

Exploration of upwelling indices was done using hierarchical classification trees. Linear regression analysis was used to explore relationships between upwelling and SST and coral bleaching events, especially 1998 and 2002. Coordinates of the temperature logger sites are: Magnetic Island (Florence Bay): LATITUDE -19.12248, LONGITUDE 146.88155 Kelso Reef: LATITUDE -18.44701, LONGITUDE 146.98907 Myrmidon Reef: LATITUDE -18.25673, LONGITUDE 147.38104

Principal Investigator
Berkelmans, Ray WC, Dr Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)
Point Of Contact
Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) adc@aims.gov.au

Data collected from 01 Nov 1995 until 01 Apr 2007


Data Usage Constraints
  • All AIMS data, products and services are provided "as is" and AIMS does not warrant their fitness for a particular purpose or non-infringement. While AIMS has made every reasonable effort to ensure high quality of the data, products and services, to the extent permitted by law the data, products and services are provided without any warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied, including without limitation any implied warranties of title, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose or non-infringement. AIMS make no representation or warranty that the data, products and services are accurate, complete, reliable or current. To the extent permitted by law, AIMS exclude all liability to any person arising directly or indirectly from the use of the data, products and services.
  • Ownership of all Intellectual Property Rights in the data remains with the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and all use of the data must acknowledge AIMS.
  • All users of AIMS data must acknowledge the source of the material in the following manner: "Data was sourced from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)."
  • Format for citation of data sourced from Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) in a list of reference is as follows: "Australian Institute of Marine Science. [year-of-data-download], [Title], [data-access-URL], accessed (date-of-access]".
  • The data is under exclusive access period. Contact AIMS for possible access to the data within this period.

Tags: Oceans - Coastal Processes - Coral Reefs | Oceans - Ocean Temperature - Sea Surface Temperature | Oceans - Ocean Circulation - Upwelling/Downwelling | Climate change | Spatial correlation | Coral bleaching