ASR - A Global Partner for the Sustainable Management of Coastal and Marine Resources

Bass Strait Coast

Location: Bass Strait Coast, Victoria, Australia

Type of Project: Numerical Modelling

Client: GHD, Australia

ASR Projects- Bass Strait Coast

(Left): Nearshore reefs at the study area; (Right) Abalone living in crevices of the reef.

Project Overview:

This study aimed to understand the impacts of a desalination plant’s intake and outlet flows on local ecosystems.

Project Outcomes:

First, an intensive review of the spawning and larvae behaviour of significant species in the region was undertaken. The literature review showed that only species with low dispersion of eggs/larvae were likely to be affected by the outlet flows. This corresponded to two species of Abalone (Haliotis rubra, Haliotis laevigata). The literature review also revealed knowledge discrepancies on the larvae behaviour of abalone.

For the selected species the spawning behaviour was translated into release conditions for a dispersion model and the larvae behaviour was used to determine the particle duration and settling velocity. The results showed that only small percentages (< 6%) of the larvae were entrained in the intake. However, the current generated by the outlet would be strong enough to significantly reduce the amount of larvae able to settle over an area of approximately 1 km2 around the outlet.

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