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John Luick

Physical Oceanographer


John Luik


Areas of expertise:

Analysis and modelling of ocean circulation, waves, and tides.


Countries of work experience:

Australia, USA, Philippines, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Pacific Islands, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.


Experience and qualifications:

John has over twenty years experience in projects related to ocean monitoring, tidal analysis, and hydrodynamic modelling. He has numerous publications and technical reports as well as wide experience in teaching, consulting, and shipboard observations.


Since joining SARDI in mid-2007, he has been involved with the new Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) network as well as three other ongoing projects: Risk and Response, Environmental Variability, and Innovative Solutions II. These latter are SARDI projects concerned with how environmental factors influence marine life and biological productivity. IMOS is a national program for monitoring Australia’s coastal seas and the exchange of nutrients and water properties across the shelf.


His diverse background includes several years in north Queensland modelling residence times in the Great Barrier Reef lagoon, half a year each in Canberra and India modelling coastal freshwater aquifers, and a similar amount of time in Alaska co-authoring a book on tides. His previous shipboard research has taken him on two long expeditions through the islands of Indonesia and The Philippines, several crossings of the Tasman Sea, and over a dozen cruises in the Gulf of Alaska. He has also conducted workshops in nine different Pacific Island nations as part of an AusAID program designed to promote local environmental management. However, his most extensive experience is with the analysis of tides and sea level, gained over his years with the National Tidal Facility (Flinders University) in Adelaide.


Professional appointments:

2007-present: Oceanographer, SARDI (Leader, Hydrodynamic Modelling Subprogram)


2005-2007: Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland


1993-2005: Oceanographer, Flinders University (National Tidal Facility)


Publications and technical reports 2000-2012:

Hinwood, J., and Luick, J.L. (2012) Closed basin modes of a dual basin harbour. Pure and Applied Geophysics. DOI 10.1007/s00024-012-0611-4.

John Middleton, John Bye, Laura Richardson, Charles James, John Luick, Carlos Teixeira, Sophie Leterme (2011) A Review of the Physical Oceanography of the Great Australian Bight. Aust. Mar. Sci. Assoc. Contribution.

Middleton, J.F., James, C.E., Luick, J.L., Goldsworthy, S., Tsolos, A., Teixeira, C.E.P. and Richardson , L. (2011). Survey of Sonar Test Sites, Phase 1, Literature Review. Final Report for the Defence Science and Technology Organisation. SARDI Publication No. F2011/000212-1. SARDI Research Report Series No. 566. 67pp.

Petrusevics, P., J.A.T. Bye, J. Luick, and C. Teixeira (2011) Summer sea surface temperatures and elevated chlorophyll-a in the entrance to Spencer gulf, South Australia. Continental Shelf Research, 31, 849-856.

Sophie C. Leterme, Charles James, Shaun Byrnes, John Luick and John Middleton (2011). Microbial communities of the South Australian Shelf Waters, a SAIMOS study. AMSA 2011 Contribution.

Seuront L, Leterme SC, Middleton J, Byrnes S, James C, Luick J, Nedoncelle K, Paterson J, Teixeira C & van Dongen-Vogels V (2010) Biophysical couplings in South Australian shelf waters under conditions of summer upwelling and winter downwelling: results from the Southern Australia Integrated Marine Observing System (SAIMOS). In: Hall, J., Harrison D.E. & Stammer, D., (Eds.), Proceedings of the "OceanObs’09: Sustained Ocean Observations and Information for Society" Conference, Venice, Italy, 21-25 September 2009, ESA Publication WPP-306, 2010.

James, C., C.D. Dixon, A.J. Fowler, A. Linnane, J.L. Luick, S. McClatchie, R. McGarvey, J.F. Middleton, M.A. Steer, and Y. Wu (2009) Effects of environmental variability on recruitment to South Australian fisheries. SARDI Publication No. F2009/000403-1, FRDC Project No. 2006/046.

James, C., S. Leterme, J.L. Luick, J. Middleton, and L. Seuront (2009) Introducing the Southern Australian node of the Integrated Marine Observing System, SAIMOS. Australian Marine Sciences Association, 46th Annual Conference, Adelaide.

James, C., S. Leterme, J.L. Luick, J. Middleton, and L. Seuront (2009) Seasonal Variations in Physical Characteristics of the South Australian Shelf Waters. Poster, European Geophysical Union, General Assembly 2009, Vienna, Austria.

James, C.J., S. Leterme, J.L. Luick, J. Middleton, and L. Seuront (2009) Seasonal Variations in Physical Characteristics of the South Australian Shelf Waters (poster). European Geophysical Union, General Assembly 2009, Vienna, Austria, 19 – 24 April 2009

Luick, J.L. and J. Middleton (2009) Meteorological Forcing of South Australian Shelf and Gulf Waters. SARDI Internal Technical Report.

Middleton, J., L. Seuront, J. Luick, C. James, and C. Teixeira (2009) The biophysical landscape of the southern Australian shelves: modelling, climate, and climate change. Australian Marine Sciences Association, 46th Annual Conference, Adelaide.

Herzfeld, M., J.F. Middleton, J.R. Andrewartha, J. Luick, and L. Wu (2008) Numerical Hydrodynamic Modelling of the Tuna Farming Zone, Spencer Gulf. Aquafin CRC Project 4.6, 100 pages.

Luick (2008) Review of “Ebb and Flow – Tides and Life on our Once and Future Planet”. Oceanography, pp 77-78.

Luick, J.L. and J.B. Hinwood (2008) Water levels in a dual basin harbour in response to infragravity and edge waves. Progress in Oceanography. doi:10.1016/j.pocean.2006.04.002.
Luick, J.L., Mason, L.B., Hardy, T., and Furnas, M. (2007) Circulation in the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon using numerical tracers and in situ data. Ctl Shelf Res., 27, 757-778.

Luick, J. (2004) Australian Tidal Handbook. Bureau of Meteorology, National Tidal Centre, 104 pages.

Luick, J. (2004) Australian Tides Manual. Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping, Permanent Committee on Tides and Mean Sea Level, Woolongong. www.icsm.gov.au/icsm/tides/SP9/SP920041116.html

Kumar, V., and J.L. Luick (2004) Effect of various parameters on the size of freshwater lens in Home Island. J. of Applied Hydrology, Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 69-78

Luick (2004) Thistle Island tidal and storm currents. Consultant Report, Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Group, Melbourne (15 pages).

Luick (2003) The oceanographic argument for continued support of the Solomon Islands Seaframe. Technical Report 10-1, Flinders University of South Australia (12 pages).
Luick, J.L. (2002) Analysis of sea level and wind stress curl in the Tuvalu region of the South Pacific during the 1997/1998 El Niño. J. of Geophys. Res. 107(C11), 3201, doi:10.1029/2001JC001080.

Luick, J.L. (2002) Introduction to Tidal Theory. Short Course prepared for the PCTMSL Workshop on Tides, October 2002.

Unnikrishnan, A.S., and J. Luick (2003) A finite element simulation of tidal circulation in the Gulf of Kutch, India. Estuarine, Coastal, and Shelf Science, vol. 56, pages 131-138. doi:10.1016/S0272-7714(02)00135-X.

Anonymous (2002) “Country Reports presented to Delegates of South Pacific Forum”. South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project Newsletter #2.

Anonymous (2002) “Monitoring Sea Level Trends – a Decade of Excellence”. South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project Newsletter #1.

Anonymous (2002) Equipment Replacement Strategy for the South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project. Client Report to AusAID.

Anonymous (2002) Fleurieu Peninsula artificial reef project tidal and wind-driven current assessment.

Anonymous (2002) Tsunamis. Information flyer for the South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project. 4 pages.

Luick, J. (2002) Ocean currents in the vicinity of Trinidad and Tobago.

Luick, J. (2002) Pacific Country Report for Tuvalu (2002). (a survey of the climate, oceanography, sea level variations, and extreme events for Tuvalu). National Tidal Facility. (NOTE: Similar reports written for Tonga, Niue, Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Nauru, Kiribati, PNG, Marshall Islands, FSM, and Palau.)

Luick, J., (2001) An analysis of variance in Pacific tide gauge data, Part 1: Comparison of collocated gauges. Part 2: Low frequency variability at Rarotonga and Nuku’alofa. Sea-Level Changes and Their Effects, World Scientific Singapore. ISBN 981-02-3618-2.

Luick, J., and G.R. Cresswell (2001) Current measurements in the Maluku Sea, J. of Geophys. Res., 106, 13,953 – 13,958.

Hinwood, J., and J. Luick (2001) Long period waves in an island reef harbour. Coral Reefs, 20, 423 - 432.

Scherer, W., and Luick, J. (2001) The need for absolute sea level. Proceedings, Pacific Islands Conference on Climate Change, Climate Variability, and Sea Level Rise, Rarotonga, Cook Islands, 3-7 April 2000, edited by M. Grzschnik.

Luick, J. (2001) A review of the physical oceanography of Astrolabe Bay and coastal northeast PNG with reference to proposed submarine discharge of mine wastes.

Luick, J. (2001) An Evaluation of Sea Level and Wind Stress Variations during the 1997/1998 El Niño using the NOAA Ocean Analysis System. Proceedings, Pacific Islands Conference on Climate Change, Climate Variability, and Sea Level Rise, Rarotonga, Cook Islands, 3-7 April 2000, edited by M. Grzschnik, National Tidal Facility.

Cresswell, G.R., and J. Luick (2001) Current measurements in the Halmahera Sea, J. of Geophys. Res., 106, 13,945 – 13,951.

Editor, The Quarterly Newsletter of the South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project, published by National Tidal Facility Australia (1999-2001).

Luick, J., (2000) Seasonal and interannual sea levels in the western Equatorial Pacific from Topex/Poseidon. J. of Climate, 13, No. 3, 672-676.

Luick, J. (2000) Western Australian Sea Level due to Tides, Weather, and Extreme Events. Report to the WA Department of Transport.

Luick, J.L. and R.F. Henry (2000) Tides in the Tongan region of the Pacific Ocean. Marine Geodesy 23, No. 1, pages 17-30.

Research Projects
For an overview of the Subprogram’s activities, including a list of current and past research projects, please visit SARDI's website



Dr John Luick

Tel: 08 8207 5430

Fax: 08 8207 5481

E-mail: john.luick@sa.gov.au