Composition

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

Composition

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.