Heron Island (GBR, 2013-2016)

Heron Island model : the model represents a state of the art modelling platform combining observations and high resolution hydrodynamic and biogeochemical reef processes. The model has a 3-D hydrodynamic grid at 160 m horizontal resolution and is driven by tides wind and large scale forcing. The biogeochemistry model includes internationally-standardised carbon chemistry calculations as well as a parametization of reef ecosystems (calcification and photosynthesis).

The Heron modelling project is conducted within the CSIRO Wealth for Ocean Flagship and is the small scale modelling contribution to the Ocean Acidification component of the ACCSP (Australian Climate Change Science Program) project.

ACCSP is co-funded by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE), CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), in collaboration with the Australian Academy of Science, the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, the Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science and Australian universities.

The project involves the following persons: Mathieu Mongin, Bronte Tilbrook, Philip Gillibrand, Mark Baird.

The aims are to study the Heron Island reef calcification and production processes, but also to provide tools to understand the variability of the collected in situ data. The first step included developing a high resolution hydrodynamic model that represents the bulk of the water circulation around the Heron islands reefs, driven by tides wind and large scale forcing. As the calcification / production ratio strongly depend on the residence time of the water above the reef, the residence time calculated using this model should gives the first insights of the calcification / production ratio variability. In parallel, carbonate chemistry is included in the model, this will include (but not restricted to), alkalinity, DIC, HCO3-, CO32-, TCO2, PH.