Sea-Floor Sunday #69: Perth submarine canyon, offshore Australia
This week’s Sea-Floor Sunday is from a region I know almost nothing about — the western margin of Australia. I came across this informative site from the Australian Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage, and the Arts. They do a lot of things and one thing they do is manage initiatives to preserve their coastal and offshore ecosystems. Having quality, high-resolution maps of the seafloor is a basic necessity — imagine trying study and manage ecosystems on land without a decent map.
Here’s a beautiful shaded-relief image of Perth submarine canyon (see the GoogleEarth image at the bottom for regional context):
Here’s a blurb directly from the site about the mapping that was done in Perth Canyon:
Two of the voyages in 2005 focused on mapping benthic ecosystems (that is, ecosystems at the bottom of the sea) on the deep continental shelf and slope in Australia’s south-west to understand evolution and biogeography. The voyages in this region focused on the Perth Canyon, a unique feature 22 kilometres seaward of Rottnest Island off Perth. The Perth Canyon is as wide and deep as the United States’ Grand Canyon, and during summer, blue whales feed on swarming krill in upwelling zones around its rim. The remarkable marine species recovered and sea floor images captured during these voyages will inform marine planning in south-west waters.
Below is a GoogleEarth image for regional context: