July 10, 2017
Members of both the UWA Ocean Dynamics group and the OFFshore ITRH have recently returned from the Kimberley Internal Soliton, Sediment and Mixing Experiment (KISSME). The KISSME experiment was set in the highly energetic Browse Basin; a region of great environmental and economic significance to Australia. Trip one (in early April) involved deployment of a triangular array of full water-column moorings and bottom mounted frames, plus several days of ship-based water sampling and turbulence microstructure profiling; Trip two (in late May) involved the successful retrieval of all deployed instruments.
The moorings and bottom frames, equipped with a range of oceanographic equipment, logged ocean variables including water currents, temperature and salinity for six weeks in 250m of water depth. The experiment aims to capture the spatial scales of extreme physical oceanographic processes on the North West Shelf, particularly nonlinear internal waves or solitons. Novel near-seabed measurements will be used for PhD studies of oceanic benthic boundary layer dynamics and sediment transport. An ultimate goal of the project is to gain a better understanding of these oceanographic processes to aid in the design and operation of offshore infrastructure.
The experiment was a collaboration between IOMRC partners UWA, AIMS (Australian Institute of Marine Science) and CSIRO. The UWA component comprised of Project 1 (Metocean) of the ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub for Offshore Floating Facilities (OFFshore ITRH), a joint industry-ARC sponsored initiative with partners Shell, Woodside, Bureau Veritas and and Lloyds Register.The UWA team included researchers Dr. Cynthia Bluteau, Dr. Matt Rayson, Andrew Zulberti, Sasha-Lee Pretorius, Tamara Schlosser, Brad Rose, and Justin Geldard under the supervision of Prof. Greg Ivey and A/Prof Nicole Jones.