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  Seaweek 2004    

The EAC (East Australian Current)

The East Australian Current is the largest ocean current close to the coasts of Australia. Its source is in the tropical Coral Sea, North East of Queensland. It moves great quantities of warm water south along our eastern coastline to Tasmania.

This current renews fish stocks, creates nutrient rich upwellings, disperses effluent and marine pollution, provides a warm swimming temperature, assists yachts and ships and more.

Scientists have discovered the EAC:

  • ferries up to 30 million cubic metres per second, with a strong influence to 500 metres depth and 100 kilometres width.
  • is strongest in summer, peaking in February
  • generates huge ocean eddies
  • frequently crosses onto the continental shelf and moves close inshore
  • causes upwellings where it moves away from the coast
  • can be slowed down or be reversed by southerly winds

Mean EAC 1997-2003. Picture courtesy
Craig Johnston, University of Tasmania.

Carried in the currents is harmful marine debris.
Beach cleanups like this one in Victoria
collect mainly plastics.
Photo courtesy Brooke Connor.

The Leeuwin Current runs along our western coast, it carries a quarter as much water as the EAC and peaks in May-June.

EAC Reference and for more information search the marine scientific information at www.marine.csiro.au

Search site

Seaweek 2004 Home
1 Get started for
Seaweek 2004
2 Harmful Marine Debris
3 The EAC (East Australian Current)
4 Fish Fact File
5 Dugongs
6 Ghost Fishing -
Reducing the impact of fishing on non target species
7 First View - Giant Crab at home on the Slope
8 I live in the sea: Turtles the ancient mariners of the sea
9 I live in the sea: Sharks & Rays - they're more scared of us!
10 Sea stars
11 Marine algae
12 Sea jellies
13 Crustaceans
14 Echinoderms
15 Marine reptiles
16 Fisheries and Aquaculture
17 Whales & Dolphins
18 Protection of precious wetlands - success in New Zealand
19 Seaweek Discoveries in Vic Marine National Parks
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