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‘Australia needs advance deepwater surveying tech’

Australia: According to marine geologist Dr Robin Beaman from James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland, Australian waters are not well mapped because of a lack of availability sonar technology. While the technology has existed for many years, Australia’s surveying capability has been held back by the limited resources; there’s only one vessel available with deep-water multi-beam sonar.
In addition, Robin stated that the data from the high-resolution 3D methods, called ‘LiDAR’ or satellite bathymetry is ideal for deriving depths over coral reefs or other shallow-water environments that are difficult to survey with boats.
Recently, Robin has put the available technology to good use, working with the Australian Hydrographic Office and Geoscience Australia, the Queensland Government and the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre. He expanded his previous research, mapping of the Great Barrier Reef closer to the Australian coast, and created new detailed maps of the reefs, mountains and canyons in the Coral Sea.
The maps revealed a large number of underwater canyons in the area, as well as 14 underwater mountains, or seamounts, rising at least 1000 metres from the sea floor. “One seamount, the Fraser Seamount, is 4060 metres high, nearly twice the height of Mt Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest mountain,” said Robin.
Source: www.australiangeographic.com.au