Synthesis: What do we know about the NW banks and shoals of the Timor Sea?

Submerged reefs and shoals are important features of the North West Marine Region of Australia due to their diverse and often unique benthic (e.g., corals, sponges) and fish biodiversity. In 2009, reefs and shoals near the Montara oil field were exposed to an uncontrolled release of oil and gas that lasted for 74 days.

In response, PTTEP commissioned a new world class body of independent scientific research into the marine life and ecosystems of the Timor Sea. The result is the most comprehensive database ever generated of fish, birds, sea snakes and marine turtles, as well as shoreline and intertidal habitats for this region. These findings are now providing scientists, industry and regulators with a benchmark against which to measure and manage the valuable economic, environmental and social resources of the region. In 2015, PTTEP funded the Australian Institute of Marine Science to make the results of these studies more accessible via the North West Atlas through the interactive map content below:

How to use the map

Full extent icon Click on this icon at the top left of the map to see a full screen version.
Zoom Icon Click on this icon also at the top left of the map to zoom in closer to (+) or further from (-) the map.
What do we know about the NW shoals in the Timor Sea?

Colours on the map show the water depth (shades of blue) and land elevation (other colours) near the shoals. Click on the map to see the depth or elevation in any given location.

Click on a shoal icon to see interactive content about that shoal. Make sure the box at the top of the window that pops up says 'clickshoalcentres'. If it doesn't, click on it to change it on the pull-down list.

In the window that pops up, click on each tab to learn more.

Use the scroll bar to move down the page so you don't miss anything.

Where a picture is shown, click on it to see a larger one in a new window. Where a video is shown, click on the arrow to watch it.

The 'More' tab provides links to relevant reports.