Environmental Studies Underway for Port of Hastings Development

The Port of Hastings Development Authority has begun detailed environmental studies of Western Port’s weather and wave patterns.

“We are focusing on finding out as much as we can about Western Port and its environs to better inform planning and design decisions about the proposed container port at Hastings,” said Port of Hastings Development Authority’s CEO Mike Lean.

Understanding the many variables ranging from wind speeds and tidal patterns to water levels and wave actions, will greatly inform and direct the ongoing detailed scientific studies that we need to undertake to develop the design of the expanded port.

“Findings from these studies, many of which will be recording data 24/7 for the next 12 months or more, will give us much greater insight and understanding of the natural forces that affect the outer heads and the channel waters.”

Authority engineers involved in the project said it would be in the many gigabytes of targeted meteorological and oceanographic information. The instruments deployed in and around Western Port include:

Waves

• Purpose: To collect data concerning the wave patterns offshore of Western Port;

• Instrument: Acoustic sensor placed on the seabed, lowered from a marine survey vessel;

• Location: Offshore of Western Port within Bass Strait in 70m of water.

Weather

• Purpose: To collect meteorological data including wind speed and direction, humidity and temperature;

• Instrument: Compact meteorological station mounted directly to a wharf;

• Location: BlueScope Steel facility, Western Port.

Currents

• Purpose: Improve the knowledge of currents within Western Port;

• Instrument: Acoustic sensor placed on the seabed. The instrument is initially lowered from a marine survey vessel and secured to the seabed by divers;

• Location: Western Port.

Water Levels

• Purpose: Collect data on water levels within Western Port and supplement water level data already collected at Stony Point;

• Instrument(s): Tide gauge mounted to a wharf;

• Location: BlueScope Steel facility and Stony Point, Western Port.

“It’s all about ensuring we have the necessary information to inform the design processes for the Port of Hastings development,” Mr Lean said.

“This information will also eventually feature on the Authority’s website giving surfers, fishermen and recreational boaters up-to-the-minute details on wave size, wind direction, air and water temperatures and times for the next
high and low tides.”

Press Release, July 23, 2014

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