Seascape Dreaming

Composition
Ochre seafloor scene with holes resembling Australian Aboriginal dot paintings.
Seascape Dreaming

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Seascape Dreaming

Australia

Fascinating halos of holes of biogenic origin surround shipwrecks in the central Great Barrier Reef. The patterns likely reflect a group behaviour of the (to date unknown) animals responsible for this earthwork, and are reminiscent of concentric patterns of landscape features painted by Australia’s indigenous people. In Aboriginal ‘Dreamings‘– abstract paintings of the relationship between humans and their environment – the centre represents water holes or other gathering points. Here, the shipwreck in the centre of each halo seems to be of similar attraction to the animals.In style similar to Aboriginal dot paintings, the outlines of the holes are accentuated by contour lines of seabed slope calculated from the underlying multibeam bathymetry.

Depth range
25 – 45 m
Location
18° 39’ 147° 0’ E
Projection
UTM zone 55 S
Data acquisition
School of Engineering & Physical Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia
Survey year
2005-2007
Project
The Yongala’s Halo of Holes (AIMS @JCU)
Acoustic system
RESON Seabat 8101
Acoustic data processing software
UNB swathed, IVS Fledermaus
Grid resolution
0.5 m
Image production
Thomas Stieglitz, School of Engineering & Physical Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia
Image caption
Thomas Stieglitz, School of Engineering & Physical Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia
Acknowledgements
Thanks to skippers and crews of RV James Kirby & RV Lady Basten for ‘holding the pen’