The National Tidal Centre (NTC) specialises in sea level monitoring and analysis for the purpose of producing national tide predictions, tide streams and related information.
The services provided by the NTC are an important element of the Bureau's Oceanographic Services Program, complementing its aim of supporting Australia's social, economic, cultural and environmental goals in the public interest. More particularly, NTC's services support climate monitoring, defence, navigation, public safety and ship operations in Australian and nearby waters, and assist persons and authorities engaged in recreation, tourism, marine resource related industries, land and hydrographic mapping, coastal development, trade and commerce.
Commencing operation in January 2004, the NTC within the Bureau brings into the public domain many of the functions of the former National Tidal Facility of Australia (NTFA) operated by Flinders University of South Australia until December 2003.
The NTC is the primary source of tide tables, tidal streams and tidal constituents provided to the Australian Hydrographic Service. The NTC also manages the national data archive for sea levels and tides.
For a glossary of terms, please see the NTC glossary
NTC produces a range of products involving tidal and sea level processes that include:
Tidal analysis and prediction
While the moon's gravitational force is recognised as the primary influence on tides, there are more than 100 scientifically recognised tidal constituents that affect the timing and height of tides. NTC balances the impact of these specific constituents with analysis of regional factors, such as seasonal changes, to prepare tide predictions for port and harbour authorities, the Royal Australian Navy, and persons and authorities engaged in recreation, tourism, marine resource related industries, coastal development, trade and commerce.
See Tide Predictions for Australia, South Pacific & Antarctica
(superceeding the old tide prediction website, which will be discontinued at the end of 2014).
The tide predictions are also available as PDF files.
Sea level monitoringSee Australian Sea Level
The Bureau's high-precision tide gauges collect sea level data to assess long term variability related to global warming, and short term changes related to climate e.g. ENSO, and other forcings.
See South Pacific Sea Level
The NTC undertakes a wide range of tidal and sea level data acquisition, quality control analysis and archiving, including satellite retrieval of data and automated checking and computer archiving. Data from Australia and its territories, Antarctica, and sites in New Zealand and the southwestern Pacific Ocean is collected. The continuous analysis of tide data provides NTC with updated material for improving the official tide predictions for Australian locations.
The NTC is engaged by port operators to produce a high standard of tide predictions suited to critical port operations.
The NTC is engaged by state port authorities and private port operators, through Ports Australia, to provide tide products for up to 80 primary ports. These include tide predictions and tide streams, as required for the Australian National Tide Tables (ANTT), published by the Royal Australian Navy as the official tide predictions. Other products in the package assist in the safe operation and optimal loading of shipping, particularly where the under keel clearance of ships is critical.
Additionally, the NTC also maintains a database of sea levels and associated metadata on behalf of Ports Australia.
The Hydrographer, Royal Australian Navy
Hydrographic charts rely on a marriage of tides, datums and depths for navigation purposes. NTC provides the Hydrographer with computational and advisory services relating to tides and mean sea level. The information is used by the Hydrographer in the annual production of the ANTT.
The NTC is located within the South Australian Regional Office in Adelaide. Contact details are:
National Tidal Centre
Australian Bureau of Meteorology
PO Box 421
Kent Town SA 5071
Telephone: (08) 8366 2730 (9am-4pm SA Time, Monday to Friday)
Facsimile: (08) 8366 2651