Dialog Box


Australian National Mooring Network

The National Mooring Network is designed to measure the physical and biological parameters of Australian coastal waters. 


National Reference Stations (NRS)  deliver long-term time series observations which are critical for defining key components of climate change and associated responses of ocean ecosystems. The network of NRS includes shelf moorings, acidification moorings and acoustic observations.

  • Shelf moorings are deployed in a wide range of configurations (cross shelf arrays, mooring pairs and single moorings), and are designed to characterise and monitor regional processes on the continental shelf. In some locations, shelf moorings are linked to deep water transport arrays.

  • Acidification moorings are co-located at some NRS sites to collect the full suite of parameters needed to characterise the concentration of acidification in the water and provide key observations to help us understand and address the problem of increasing ocean acidification. The sites contribute to national and international research priorities, delivering to international databases and UNFCCC core variable measurements, the new international Global Ocean Acidification Observing Network, and they also help meet priority measurement requirements identified in Australia‚Äôs National Framework Climate Change Science plan.

  • The Acoustic Observatories Sub-Facility deploys arrays of acoustic listening stations that passively record sounds from the ocean. The stations provide baseline data on ambient oceanic noise, detection of fish and mammal vocalizations linked to ocean productivity, monitoring of multiple species of whales and detection of underwater events.

The Sydney Institute of Marine Science in cooperation with UNSW operates four mooring arrays  along the NSW Coast.

Coffs Harbour

The Coffs Harbour mooring array has been in operation since 2009.  Initially it consisted of two  moorings at 70 metres and 100 metres depth.  In April 2014 a third mooring was deployed in 50 metres depth.  These moorings provide a cross-shelf view of the East Austalian Current (EAC) from the coast out to the shelf edge.  At this latitude the EAC is generally well constrained.  Often there is a seperation zone to the north off Cape Byron or to the south near Port Macquarie. 

CH050 - Thermistor chain only

CH070 - Thermistor chain and bottom mounted ADCP (Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler)

CH100 - Thermistor chain and bottom mounted ADCP



Two IMOS moorings at 100 metres and 140 metres were added in 2009 and have continued to provide valuable data about the oceanography of the Sydney region.  These moorings are complemented by Sydney Waters Ocean Reference Station which was first deployed in 1989 to monitor current patterns around the deep water sewer outfall off Bondi. Sydney Water has been providing this data from 2009 as an in kind contribution. Instruments and Moorings are maintained in collaboration between SIMS/UNSW and Oceanographic Field Services.

Port Hacking

Australia's oldest ocean reference station, the Port Hacking site recently celebrated 75 years of regular water sampling at an offshore site.  Boat based sampling occurs approximately monthly along a transect of five stations from 25 metres to 125 metres depth.  Conductivity, Temperature and Depth (CTD) profiles are taken at each sampling station along with, at certain stations, biogeochemical samples such as phytoplankton pigment samples and plankton net samples. In 2009 the IMOS mooring was added at 110 metres water depth and includes water quality monitoring in addition to temperature and velocity profiling. 

ORS065 - Thermistor chain and bottom mounted ADCP (Sydney Water)

SYD100 - Thermistor chain and bottom mounted ADCP

SYD140 - Thermistor chain and bottom mounted ADCP


Batemans Marine Park Mooring Array

 In March 2011, two temperature moorings were deployed off Narooma in 90 metres and 120 metres water depth.  These moorings provide a downstream look at the EAC offshoot and eddy field.  BMP moorings were temporarily suspended from April to November 2014 while funding was sourced.  Co-investment from Bega Valley Shire Council saw the resumption of the moorings with the addition of ADCPs.  High correlation between the 90 metres and 120 metres sites resulted in BMP090 being moved inshore to 70 metres depth.  BMP070 was first deployed in full configuration (ADCP and Temperature) on 30th April 2015.

BMP070 - Thermistor chain and bottom mounted ADCP

BMP090 - retired 2015

BMP120 - Thermistor chain and bottom mounted ADCP


Contact Details

Dr. Moninya Roughan
University of New South Wales
Sydney NSW 2052
+61 02 9385 7067 T
+61 02 9385 7123 F