The study and modelling of turbidity due to suspended particulate matter (SPM) in coastal waters has recently gained significance. Any shifts in turbidity levels indicate alterations of irradiations through the water column and this can have negative consequences. These changes also relate to intensity of mixing in the upper ocean and shallow waters which is a vital environmental process in terms of oceanographic, ecological and marine-biology aspects. While modelling SPM usually accounts for forcing due to currents and tides, mixing of the upper ocean by wind-generated waves is more often underestimated, and frequently entirely unaccounted for. In the meantime, such mixing can constitute a significant or even dominant contribution to the total mixing in the upper ocean in particular circumstances. This project aims to investigate and model SPM in Port Phillip Bay and the coastal waters of Victoria, Australia. This will be achieved by linking satellite observations to numerical modelling. Satellite observations that were conducted by MERIS will be used to derive surface concentration of SPM. Models WAM, CMOD and GOTM will be used to simulate SPM levels, and environmental forcing due to waves, winds and tides through analytical approaches and numerical modelling. This paper specifically covers the project setup and preliminary tests achieved by the first model, WAM.


Port of Melbourne, in the state of Victoria, is the largest port in Australia for containerised and cargo traffic ( It is specifically located in Melbourne at the mouth of the Yarra River, on the upper northern coast of the Port Phillip Bay. Port Phillip Bay is a body of water that covers approximately 2,000 square kilometres. The bay on the most part is shallow, with the deepest point being only 24 metres. Notwithstanding this, it is still a functioning channel for all shipping transport.

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