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Oceanographic dynamics


Physical oceanographic dynamics in the Kimberley

Other Details: 

Kimberley Marine Research Program: Project 2.2.1
Location: Bucaneer Archipelago and Collier Bay
Project Leader: Greg Ivey, UWA
Telephone: 6488 3528

Final Report

Physical Oceanographic Dynamics in the Kimberley_WAMSI KMRP Report 2.2.1_Ivey et al_Final Report 2.2.1 2016_FINAL

Project Aims

  • Study oceanography of the Kimberley including water mixing between the inner, mid and outer continental shelf regions
  • Study tidal movement and density stratification of continental shelf regions
  • Study the Kimberley’s macrotidal reefs, the relationships between the large tidal forcing, reef geomorphology and solar heating

Project Methods

  • Temperature and salinity loggers will be moored near the sea floor bottom and through the water column
  • Two research surveys on the RV Solander (wet and dry season) collecting oceanographic information on temperature, salinity, density, turbidity and water movement

Proposed location for the project

Bathurst and Champagny Islands (Camden Sound and Collier Bay) Survey cruises will focus on Collier Bay

Project duration August 2013-December 2015


  • Increased understanding of oceanographic properties during wet and dry seasons
  • A 3D Kimberley-wide model of oceanographic processes
  • Reports and peer-reviewed journal publications

Longer term goals beyond the life of the project

Understanding the oceanographic processes in the Kimberley and predicting these using models

Research Articles

Branson PM, Ghisalberti M, Ivey GN (2016) Time resolved 3D3C measurements of shallow-water island wakes. Proceedings 20th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, Perth, 5-8 December 2016.

Zhou WM, Espinosa-Gayosso, Jones, N.L. and M.R. Hipsey (2016) Numerical study of the wet-season hydrodynamics of a macrotidally forced bay with complex topography: Collier Bay, Kimberley, Western Australia. Proceedings 20th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference, Perth, 5-8 December 2016.

Lowe RJ, Falter JL (2015) Oceanic Forcing of Coral Reefs  Annual Review of Marine Science 2015. doi: 10.1146/annurev-marine-010814-015834

Lowe RJ, Leon AS, Symonds G, Falter JL, Gruber R (2015) The intertidal hydraulics of tide-dominated reef platforms Journal of Geophysical Research DOI: 10.1002/2015JC010701

Jones NL, Patten NL, Krikke DL, Lowe RJ, Waite AM, Ivey GN (2014) Biophysical characteristics of a morphologically-complex macrotidal tropical coastal system during a dry season Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2014.07.01



Ivey G. Physical oceanographic dynamics in the Kimberley 2017 WAMSI Research Conference (video of presentation) Presentation slides

WAMSI Lunch and Learn Seminar: The flow of energy through the Kimberley coastal system – from the land to the deep sea (background)


News stories

Kimberley coastal system: links from the land to the deep sea (WAMSI June 2016)

Project links

2.2.1 Oceanographic dynamics

2.2.2 Biogeochemical processes

2.2.6 Land-ocean linkages