Project Sea Dragon (Northern Australia) Numerical Modelling

Seafarms Group
Northern Territory, Australia

Project Sea Dragon (Northern Australia) Numerical Modelling

Project Sea Dragon is a large-scale, integrated, land-based prawn aquaculture project in northern Australia designed to produce high-quality, year-round reliable volumes for export markets and will ultimately be one of the largest prawn farming operations in Australia, if not the world. Project Sea Dragon will be a staged development of up to 10,000 hectares of production ponds, including the development of a series of facilities across northern Australia.

Water Technology completed numerical modelling for the Project Sea Dragon EIS study in 2016-2017. The numerical modelling was a complex task involving a regional model extending 200km offshore across the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf, upstream into the project site to include tidal channels less than 10m wide and across the project site where a tidal floodplain 30km wide was subjected to twice daily inundation.

This far field 2-dimensional numerical model was coupled with a localised 3-dimensional model to simulate the discharge from the prawn farm. The 3-dimensional discharge model simulated tides with a range of 9m across a 1km wide creek which came close to completely drying during the low tide and had depths of water in excess of 10m on the high tide. The 3-dimensional model was used to illustrate the rapid mixing of the discharge in these super tidal waters where currents speeds were in excess of 2m/s and the bed form and banks were constantly evolving. Sensitivity testing was completed to provide dilution was consistent in the discharge creek despite the moving channel.

A CORMIX model was established to confirm the rapid moving at the discharge, with the dilution tested over a matrix of water level, current and discharge rates.

Waterlines Summer 2017

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Key Services Provided

  • Data collection and other site environmental monitoring activities
  • 2-D and 3-D numerical modelling of hydraulic and water quality processes
  • Coastal process and bank erosion assessments
  • Storm surge and cyclone inundation assessments
  • EIS related assessments and project design assistance
Legune Station Project Sea Dragon
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