Map Gallery

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Researchers from Project D1 of the Marine Biodiversity Hub of the National Environmental Science Programme present this interactive map-based summary of where polychaetes are known to exist in the Commonwealth Mari

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Researchers from Project D1 of the Marine Biodiversity Hub of the National Environmental Science Programme present this interactive map-based summary of where pelagic sharks & rays are known to exist in the C

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Researchers from Project D1 of the Marine Biodiversity Hub of the National Environmental Science Programme present this interactive map-based summary of where pelagic fish are known to exist in the Commonwealth M

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Researchers from Project D1 of the Marine Biodiversity Hub of the National Environmental Science Programme present this interactive map-based summary of where molluscs are known to exist in the Commonwealth Marine Re

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Researchers from Project D1 of the Marine Biodiversity Hub of the National Environmental Science Programme present this interactive map-based summary of where marine mammals are known to exist in the Commonwealt

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Researchers from Project D1 of the Marine Biodiversity Hub of the National Environmental Science Programme present this interactive map-based summary of where hard corals are known to exist in the Commonwealth Ma

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Researchers from Project D1 of the Marine Biodiversity Hub of the National Environmental Science Programme present this interactive map-based summary of where demersal sharks and rays are known to exist in the C

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Researchers from Project D1 of the Marine Biodiversity Hub of the National Environmental Science Programme present this interactive map-based summary of where demersal fish are known to exist in the Commonwealth

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Researchers from Project D1 of the Marine Biodiversity Hub of the National Environmental Science Programme present this interactive map-based summary of where brittle stars are known to exist in the Commonwealth

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Water flowing along the sediments (mud, sand, gravel, rocks) that make up the ocean floor can move them (sediment transport) given sufficient energy (shear stress). Essentially, when the force of water flowing against a sediment is greater than the gravitational force holding it in place, the sediment begins to move. The magnitude of shear stress required to cause sediment transport depends on the sizes and types of sediments present in a given location.

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The topography of the seafloor can play a major role in determining what types and abundance of organisms can survive there as it controls water circulation (read how it works). One of the most common measures of topography is the slope - the rate of change of depth with distance (rise over run).

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Turbidity is a measure of the cloudiness of water caused by suspended particles (so small that they are usually invisible to the naked eye) that limit the transmission of light through the water.

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Much of life on earth ultimately depends on the capture of energy from the sun and its translation into energy via photosynthesis. The relative extent to which this (primary production) occurs is a useful measure by which to compare the biological activity of regions.

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Use the interactive map below to see the relative distance of the Oceanic Shoals CMR from shore compared to other CMRs. Click on the four-arrow icon to activate the interactive map. You then click on the 'Commonwealth Marine Reserve boundaries' data layer to see how the Oceanic Shoals compares to the other CMRs.

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The Whale Shark is listed as vulnerable and migratory under Australia's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 Act. Each year from March to May, whale sharks (Rhincodon typus), aggregate on the NW Australian continental shelf, particularly around Ningaloo Reef.

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Geomorphology is a major driver of the type and abundance of organisms living on and near the sea floor. Much work has been done to define and characterise ocean geomorphology at spatial scales ranging from the entire world's oceans to the NW Australian region.

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Sea surface temperature is the measure of how hot or corld the water in the ocean is at a given time and place. Ocean organisms have adapted to certain levels of sea temperature and can be harmed if the water is too much warmer or colder than normal (for example, this can cause coral reefs to bleach). Satellite data such as MODIS can be used to measure surface temperature across the world's oceans on a regular basis.

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Salinity is the measure of how much salt is in the ocean at a given time and place (why is the ocean salty?). Ocean organisms have adapted to certain levels of salinity and can be harmed if salinity changes too much from typical levels (for example, low salinity in flood plumes can stress coral reefs). Satellite data such as MODIS can be used to measure salinity across the world's oceans on a regular basis.

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The Integrated Marine and Coastal Regionalisation of Australia (IMCRA v4.0) classified Australia's marine environment into ecologically relevant bioregions for regional planning. These bioregions are the basis for the development of a National Representative System of Marine Protected Areas (NRSMPA).

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Coral reefs support a diverse array of life, including hard and soft corals, sponges, macroalgae and fish.

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