Hydrographic survey of Bass Strait

Improving seafloor mapping and safe navigation for vessels in Bass Strait.
Voyage No


28 May, 2018


08 Jun, 2018




Chief Scientist

LCDR Nigel Townsend


Australian Hydrographic Office

Voyage summary

Charter voyage to Bass Strait to undertake a bathymetric (seafloor) survey in the vicinity of Hogan Island Group.

During the voyage, various meteorological and oceanographic data will be collected to contribute to current modelling systems. Additionally, this information will benefit the management of the Commonwealth Marine Reserve off Hogan Island. This survey aims to map the area to a modern standard to improve confidence for shipping and subsurface navigation in Bass Strait.

 Four Australian school teachers will join this voyage under the CSIRO Educator on Board program. There is one piggyback project on this voyage:

  • Spatial and temporal variability in the distribution and abundance of seabirds (Dr Eric Woehler, BirdLife Australia): Project to study the spatial and temporal distribution of seabirds and marine animals in the oceans around Australia (multi-year project).

Voyage outcomes

As a result of this voyage, an increased area of Bass Strait has been surveyed to improve navigational safety between Wilson's Promontory and the Hogan Island Group. A range of meteorological, oceanographic and geoscience data were also opportunistically collected during the voyage, including ocean temperature and salinity profile, currents through depth, sediment type and sub-bottom classification.

Data from this voyage will be used for nautical charting purposes, improving safety of navigation for surface shipping and subsurface navigation in Bass Strait. The location of two shipwrecks along the survey line were also recorded.

A range of seabird observations were made during the voyage. This data will contribute to the wider project BirdLife Australia dataset, and provide important information about the spatial and temporal distributions of seabirds.