Australian National Mooring Network

The network will comprise a series of national reference stations and regional moorings designed to monitor particular oceanographic phenomena in Australian coastal ocean waters. The reference stations will increase the number of long term time series observations in terms of variables recorded, temporal distribution and geographical extent. Two reference sites will also be used to provide satellite operators and data users with access to reliable calibration and validation data for the coastal and ocean colour satellite mission data sets. Passive acoustic listening station arrays will be co-located at three mooring sites. These stations will provide baseline data on ambient oceanic noise, detection of fish and mammal vocalizations and detection of underwater events. The regional moorings will monitor the interaction between boundary currents and shelf water masses and their consequent impact upon ocean productivity (e.g. Perth Canyon Upwelling; Kangaroo Island Upwelling) and ecosystem distribution and resilience (e.g. Coral Sea interaction with the Great Barrier Reef).

Operation of the network will be distributed between several operators and coordinated nationally. The Sydney Institute of Marine Science will operate moorings in three locations along the NSW Coast.

Coffs Harbour

Two proposed mooring locations have been identified offshore from Coffs Harbour, within the Solitary Islands group: an offshore site in 100 metres water depth south-east of South Solitary Island (CH 100) and a second in 70 metres water depth south of South Solitary Island (CH 70). CH 70 is approximately 7nm off the coast and CH 100 9nm.


Sydney is the location of the NSW IMOS “National Reference Transect”. To this end, two mooring locations are proposed along a line off Bondi as well as a line of hydrographic samples undertaken by DECC off Port Hacking. The two Sydney moorings (SYD 100 and SYD140) are in 100m and 140m of water respectively along a shore normal line extending from Bondi offshore.

Jervis Bay

In conjunction with NSW IMOS, UNSW ADFA deployed a mooring (April 2008) in 70m of water off Pt Perpendicular outside Jervis Bay. This mooring, while being maintained by UNSW ADFA is an integral component of the mooring array and the data will be contributed to NSW IMOS. The site has been chosen for its water depth, and proximity to the coast.

The mooring network comprises the following regional and disciplinary components:

  • Queensland and Northern Australia
  • New South Wales
  • Southern Australia
  • Western Australia
  • Acoustic Observatories
  • National Reference Stations – Coordination and Analysis
  • Satellite Ocean Colour calibration and validation

Contact Details

Dr. Moninya Roughan
University of New South Wales
Sydney NSW 2052
+61 02 9385 7067 T
+61 02 9385 7123 F