Project promotion materials:

Project Homepage:

Data collections can be seen on:!/group=Tasmanian%20Partnership%20for%20Advanced%20Computing/q=MARVLIS/p=1/class=collection/

Software is available at:

Project Members:

Brendan Davey (Project Manager,

Scott Condie (Developer,

Mark Hepburn (Developer,

Ming Fu (Developer,

ANDS Contact:

Stefanie Kethers (

Project Status:

In Progress

Marine Virtual Laboratory Information System

University of Tasmania

Collaborator(s): National Climate Change Adaptation Facility NCCARF, IMOS

Project Description:

The NeCTAR-funded Marine Virtual Laboratory (MARVL) is developing a research and educational tool with the aim to considerably reduce the time taken to establish an environment for coastal and ocean modelling. MARVL will set up a model and establish the necessary data, for both model ingest and for detailed comparison of model results with observations, in a fraction of the time normally taken, and offer options for conducting the simulations. This is appealing to researchers and educational specialists wishing to embark on modelling studies. To make MARVL equally attractive to marine managers and other users of modelling study results it is necessary to develop tools to provide value-added products which synthesise model and observational data and make the underlying data more accessible to non-modelling/observational specialists.

The intention of the ANDS-funded MARVLIS was to develop a suite of tools creating value-added products from model and observational data which can be either used by themselves (as in the project, see below), or used as a ‘plug-in’ library to MARVL, thereby giving MARVL the capability to move from being a research tool for specialists to a tool with a much broader spectrum of users.

For several years the Derwent Estuary has been the subject of local research monitoring of the marine ecosystem in support of the long-term health of the estuary, as impacted upon by historical and ongoing human activity and potential new developments in aquaculture operations (see the Derwent Estuary Program (DEP),, and the CSIRO/UTAS/State Govt program INFORMD, These activities have not had a publicly visible on-line vehicle for the data, results and information they have produced. The Derwent Estuary is the focal point for the ‘Early Activity’ of MARVL because of these underlying activities and availablity of models and observations which can readily be used to demonstrate the utility of MARVL.

After consultation with the DEP it was agreed that the development of value-added products to provide fast and comprehensive information on the state of the Estuary would be of benefit and could, in the short term, provide the public with information about beach and bay water quality and, in the longer term, offer a mechanism to streamline the 5-year ‘State of the Derwent’ reporting (see The tools developed to provide these products could easily be compiled into a library for addition to MARVL.

The Australian Ocean Data Network (AODN) opensource geospatial information portal was downloaded from github ( and a clone developed for MARVLIS. Data from DEP and INFORMD was obtained and split into two categories – ‘Public Health’ data, the weekly water sampling of beaches and bays and the reporting of enterocci levels to indicate water quality, and the ‘Ecosystem Health’ data, the monthly sampling at a number of estuary stations of a suite of physical-biogeochemical measurements (the basis for the State of the Derwent report). In support of these observations numerical model data from the CSIRO SETAS (SouthEast TASmania) and STORM (Bay) models was obtained (

A third element utilises all these data in a prototype ‘risk assessment’ by employing the CSIRO CONNIE tool ( to explore the fate of water masses in the estuary.

Research Champion:

Roger Proctor IMOS UTAS

Data Type:

Input Data:
Sensor data from TASMAN, Fisheries data from UTAS IMAS, Tas State Govt/Derwent Estuary Program monitoring data, physical and biogeochemical model data from CMAR, IMOS Tas node observations.

Output Data:
Derwent Estuary data collection Derwent Estuary scenarios

High Level Software Functionality:

GeoNetwork, THREDDS, MARVL, GeoServer, Java, Spring, Python, OpenLayer, Jquery, ExtJs, PostgreSql