image of a tern
Benthics and birds, Western Australia

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Roebuck Bay (1997, 2002, 2006, 2016), King Sound (1998), and 80 Mile Beach (1999, 2016) owe their existence to:
The geology and
The climate of the area

The combination of these two define the
Geomorphology (shape of the bays and surrounding area)
Sedimentology (type & distribution of sediments)
Geochemistry (chemical content of the sediments)
Hydrology (distribution of water)

All of the which permitted the development of very large tidal mudflats which allow:
Numerous benthic organisms (crabs, molluscs, mudskippers, etc), also known as "bird food"

Which explains:
The presence of large numbers of wading birds.
(Roebuck Bay and 80 Mile Beach are among the world's 10 most populous sites for migratory wading birds)

The current research project is an attempt to understand the processes behind each of the above specialties within geology and biology. It is important to note, that this environment is stable over human lifespans only if unaltered by human activities. Given that Broome is a growing community, it will (or may have) alter the geology of the area by changing erosion processes, water flow directions, or introducing different metals, compounds, or organisms into the bay. Any alterations in the geology will result in a change in the benthic population, and, therefore, the bird populations.

For more information, visit the detailed pages for:

photo of birds

And what it's all about! In this case, these are great knots and bar-tailed godwits from 80 Mile Beach.

A list of publications that have resulted from this research.

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Bob's Homepage ## CWU


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Dr. Robert Hickey

last updated on 15 Novembr, 2016