NESP TWQ Round 4 - Project 4.2 - Oceanographic drivers of bleaching in the GBR: from observations to prediction

Region map

This project produced a summary of the major publicly available temperature observations from physical oceanographic data collected on the Great Barrier Reef during the recent 2016 and 2017 mass coral bleaching events. The article 'Drivers of Bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef - Compilation of temperature data from 2015, 2016 and 2017' presents a compilation and analysis, summary plots of the data that can be interrogated and daily climatologies, as well as links to source data from multiple observing platforms.

This project aimed to understand how local, regional and global oceanographic and meteorological processes influence the severity and spatial variability of thermally driven coral bleaching for the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and Torres Strait.

All available relevant environmental observations of the recent bleaching events were gathered to be more easily discoverable to researchers and managers via the compilation article (see link above).

The data assessed how well the eReefs models are modelling the recent warming during bleaching events and analysed the reasons behind the variations of bleaching response. 3D versions of remotely sensed bleaching products by NOAA and BoM were produced and a seasonal prediction capability for marine heatwaves was developed.

A workshop at the ACRS 2019 conference was run on accessing oceanic data for coral reef research. The manuals used in the workshop are now available.

Preview Image for ACRS workshop



Publication on
10 October 2019

PreviewThe climatology of the GBR temperature loggers is based on the hourly registers from loggers with 10 or more years of data, up to 2012 and for "Slope" and "Flat" locations on the reef.

Publication on
8 April 2021
PreviewThis dataset explores a new approach to predict coral bleaching events. It uses a temperature anomaly map to create a spatially dynamic temperature threshold for the calculation of degree heating weeks (DHW) instead of using a static constant.
Publication on
6 May 2021

PreviewThis collection of temperature logger data has been produced to cover the most recent back to back bleaching events in the Great Barrier Reef to be used as a reference data set for coral bleaching studies.

Publication on
31 May 2021
PreviewThe dashboard set comprises individual web pages for each sensor/location. Each dashboard includes a map showing the location of the station, basic statistics and time series plots.