National Sea Simulator

The Australian Institute of Marine Science's National Sea Simulator (SeaSim) is a world-class marine research aquarium facility for  tropical marine organisms in which scientists can conduct cutting-edge research not previously possible in Australia.

Using SeaSim, Australian and international scientists can research the impact of complex environmental changes with large, long-term, experiments in which they can manipulate key environmental factors.

With a reliable, consistent supply of seawater, SeaSim provides fine control over many environmental variables including light, temperature, acidity/pCO2, salinity, sedimentation and contaminants.

SeaSim has facilities for the long-term holding and propagation of corals as model organisms for research. This allows multi-generational studies, which are critical in understanding how marine organisms acclimatise and adapt to a changing environment.

Designed to encourage scientific collaboration, the facility is helping Australia realise the potential benefits of a rapidly emerging blue economy.

In 2010 the Australian Government awarded AIMS funding for the development of the National Sea Simulator through the Super Science Marine and Climate Initiative, with support from the Education Investment Fund.

The National Sea Simulator is situated at AIMS' Cape Ferguson facilty near Townsville, Queensland.

SeaSim by numbers

SeaSim’s design specifications include:

  • >3 000 000 litres filtered seawater pumped per day (at full capacity)
  • 3 650 000 litres of bulk seawater storage capacity
  • 3022 m2 of floor area
  • 42.4 km of pipework
  • >140 seawater pumps
  • 33 seawater processing tanks.