Scott and Seringapatam Reefs

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Scott and Seringapatam is located in Indian Ocean
Scott and Seringapatam
Scott and Seringapatam
Location of the Scott and Seringapatam Reefs

Scott and Seringapatam Reefs is a group of atoll-like reefs in the Timor Sea more than 300 kilometres (190 mi) northwest of Cape Leveque, Western Australia, on the edge of the continental shelf. There are three or four separate reef structures, depending on whether Scott Reef Central is counted separately. The group is just one of a number of reef formations off the northwest coast of Australia and belongs to Western Australia. Further to the northeast are Ashmore and Cartier Islands, and to the southwest are the Rowley Shoals.

Scott and Seringapatam Reefs

Location and Description[edit]

Each of the three reefs rises steeply from the seabed 400–500 metres (1,300–1,600 ft) below. Much of the reaf area dries at low tide, but besides Sandy Islet of Scott Reef South, there are only a few rocks and sandbanks above the high water mark.

  • Scott Reef South (also Horseshoe Reef or South Reef) is a large crescent-shaped formation that has a rare and unusual double reef crest. Its lagoon, has depths of over 24 m throughout the greater portion. The reef with its lagoon covers an area of 144 km².
  • Scott Reef Central, because of its proximity occasionally subsumed within Scott Reef South, lies off West Hook (the western extremity of the crescent of Scott Reef South), with Sandy Islet at 14°03′S 121°46′E / 14.050°S 121.767°E / -14.050; 121.767 (690 meters north-south, up to 110 meters wide, with an area of nine hectares). This reef falls dry to the extent of 0.8 to 1.6 km from the islet. There is a conspicuous tower on the islet and also a boulder with a height 2.4 m near its northern end. A detached reef, which dries 0.6 m, lies 2.4 km northeast of Sandy Islet. The passage between Scott Reef South and Scott Reef Central is only 33 m deep, much less than the passages between the other reefs (366 m between Scott Reef South and Scott Reef North).
  • Scott Reef North consists of a large, approximately circular-shaped, reef lying 23 km southwest of Seringapatam Reef. The reef is composed of a narrow reef-crest that is backed by broad reef flats — much of which becomes exposed at low tide — and a deep central lagoon that is connected to the open sea by two delta-like channels. The reef with its lagoon covers an area of 106 km².
  • Seringapatam Reef is located at 13°40′S 122°05′E / 13.667°S 122.083°E / -13.667; 122.083, 23 km north of Scott Reef North. This reef is named after the Battle of Seringapatam, the historical last and decisive battle fought between Tipu Sultan and the British Raj forces in Southern India. It is an egg-shaped reef, with a total area of approximately 50 km², which is about evenly divided between lagoon and reef flat. Its narrow reef rim encloses a relatively deep lagoon. Much of the reef becomes exposed at low tide. There are large boulders around its edges, with a few sandbanks, which rise about 1.8 m above the water, on the west side. Seringapatam Reef covers an area of 55 km² (including the central lagoon).

Browse Basin LNG Development[edit]

Browse LNG is a major [1] LNG project currently in development by Woodside Petroleum, which includes the Torosa gas field, located underneath Scott Reef South and Scott Reef North.


External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Berry, P.F. Ed. (1986) Faunal surveys of the Rowley Shoals, Scott Reef, and Seringapatam Reef, North-western Australia Perth, W.A. : Western Australian Museum, Records of the Western Australian Museum. Supplement, 0313-122X ; no. 25. ISBN 0-7309-0340-0