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Phytoplankton of Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia – May 28th, 2013

16.8S 139.8E

May 28th, 2013 Category: Image of the day, Phytoplankton

Australia – May 28th, 2013

The phytoplankton of the shelf waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia, is basically a diatom flora, distinctly different from the oceanic, predominantly dinoflagellate flora of the Coral Sea and Indian Ocean. Large morphologically elaborate tropical diatoms and dinoflagellates of this shelf region show great species diversity (click here for more information).

Sediments from the Flinders River, Australia

17.8S 140.5E

May 24th, 2013 Category: Rivers, Sediments

Australia – May 24th, 2013

Predicted climate change for the Australian tropics includes higher temperatures, a more intense monsoon, general increase in rainfall intensities, possible marked increase in heavy rains, more floods and dry spells, increased potential evaporation and enhanced topographic effects on rainfall. To predict river response to climate change and agricultural development, scientists have studied the condition of existing rivers in the Australian tropics, such as the Flinders River, visible here spilling sediments into the southern part of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

The Flinders River is the longest river in Queensland, Australia at about 1004 km, and the sixth longest river in all of the country. The river rises in the Burra Range, part of the Great Dividing Range, and flows into the Gulf of Carpentaria 25 km west of Karumba, Queensland. The catchment covers 109,000 km², in which anabranching rivers predominate, with confined and constrained rivers also present. (click here for more information).

Sediments in Broad Sound, Australia

22S 150.3E

May 20th, 2013 Category: Sediments

Australia – May 20th, 2013

Broad Sound is a large bay on the east coast of Australia, in the state of Queensland 675 km northwest of the state capital, Brisbane. It is about 50 km long and 20 km across at its widest point. The Torilla Peninsula forms the eastern side of the bay; Shoalwater Bay is on the other side of the peninsula.

The bay has a low-lying coastline with wide mudflats exposed at low tide and backed by extensive areas of mangroves. Here, sediments can be seen spilling out of the sound. The head of the bay has the greatest tidal range on Australia’s east coast – around 9 m.

The coastline is punctuated by the mangrove-lined estuaries of several rivers and creeks, including Herbert and St Lawrence Creeks and the Styx River. Behind the mangroves is a hinterland of low, rounded hills covered by a mix of grassland and low eucalypt woodland or forest. The climate is subtropical with a dry winter.

The extensive tracts of mangroves and mudflats, comprising some 1200 km2 in the southern part of the bay, have been classified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area.

Tropical Cyclone Zane (23P) Expected to Dissipate Today

13.9S 144.1E

May 2nd, 2013 Category: Tropical Storms

Tropical Storm Zane (23P) – May 1st, 2013

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Track of Tropical Storm Zane (23P) - May 1st, 2013 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TC 23P

Tropical Cyclone Zane (23P) will dissipate below warning threshold in the next 12 hours due to poor conditions and will further unravel as it interacts with the Cape York Peninsula.

Due to the overall poor organization of the system and forecast unfavorable upper-level environment, this is the final warning on this system by the JTWC, although the system will be closely monitored for signs of regeneration.

Tropical Cyclone Zane (23P) Tracking Northwestward at 10 Knots

12.3S 144.3E

May 2nd, 2013 Category: Tropical Cyclones

Tropical Storm Twenty Zane (23P) – May 1st, 2013

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Track of Tropical Storm Zane (23P) - May 1st, 2013 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TC 23P

Tropical Cyclone Zane (23P), located approximately 270 nm north- northwest of Cairns, Australia, has tracked northwestward at 10 knots over the past six hours.

The initial intensity is assessed at 35 knots based on Dvorak current intensity estimates ranging between 30 to 35 knots and observations in the area. Upper-level analysis reveals an unfavorable environment as strong to moderate (20-30 knots) northwesterly vertical wind shear (VWS) has persisted over the system.