[IIOE2-EP24] The Large Marine Ecosystem of the Arafura Sea: What are the Physical Drivers

Lead Investigator and other key participant (s):

  1. Dr. Jochen Kaempf , Flinders University, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia

Period of Project: 2016-18

Brief description of the Project:

Coastal ecosystems are among the most productive ecosystems in the world and provide many services to human society. This project explores physical mechanisms that - during the Southeast monsoon - lead to the development of majestic phytoplankton blooms in the northwestern Arafura Sea extending a vast area of 200 km by 200 km. Specific questions to be addressed are:

  1. How does the shallow-water geologic setting of the Arafura Sea influence nutrient fluxes in the Arafura Sea (which is a key region of phytoplankton blooms in the Indonesian Seas)? (IIOE-2 Science Theme 6)
  2. Which physical mechanisms trigger phytoplankton blooms in the Arafura Sea? (Science Theme 2)
  3. In how much is the ecosystem response in the Arafura Sea influenced by monsoon variability (Science Theme 3)

Region of study

Arafura Sea

Arafura Sea

Bathymetry of the Indonesian Seas including the Arafura Sea. Image source: Liu & Dittert (2010). Taken from Kämpf and Chapman (2016).