Shear stress on the seabed in the Oceanic Shoals CMR and beyond

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.

Measuring shear stress is difficult (read why). Geoscience Australia hindcast hourly values of bed shear stress (as the combined effects of waves, tides, wind and density driven circulation) on the Australian continental shelf from March 1997 to February 2008 using its GEOMACs model.

Use the interactive map below to view how typical shear stress varies within and beyond the Oceanic Shoals CMR. Blue areas indicate the lowest shear stress and red the highest.

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.