New mapping by Geoscience Australia has identified 713 submarine canyons on the Australian margin, 95 of which are classified as shelf-incised canyons; the remainder are located on the continental slope and are termed ‘blind canyons’.
Submarine canyons are well represented in the national network of marine protected areas, with 36% intersecting (whole or in part) a Commonwealth Marine Reserve.
For all canyons, a range of metrics were derived to describe their form and distribution and used to classify canyons into a uniqueness category.
This new information is being used in the analysis of large scale connectivity patterns between canyons and in turn will support the management of marine reserves.
Prepared for GEOHAB 2014 conference.