Spatial extent of riverine flood plumes and exposure of marine ecosystems in the Tully coastal region, Great Barrier Reef

Devlin, Michelle, and Schaffelke, Britta (2009) Spatial extent of riverine flood plumes and exposure of marine ecosystems in the Tully coastal region, Great Barrier Reef. Marine and Freshwater Research, 60 (11). pp. 1109-1122.

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View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF08343

Abstract

Tully River flood plume monitoring data for 11 events (1994–2008) were used to determine what physical characteristics of the floods (size of flood, direction of plume movement, shape of hydrograph) most influence the flood plume water quality and areal extent. During some events, the maximum area influenced by the Tully flood plumes extended into the Coral Sea. Areal extents depended on wind direction and discharge volume, with large extents more likely during light or northerly winds. Strong gradients in water quality existed away from the Tully mouth during the wet season and the adjacent marine ecosystems were regularly exposed to land-derived material. Flood plumes were grouped into three plume types: primary, secondary and tertiary plumes, based on water-quality characteristics (suspended solids, coloured dissolved organic matter and chlorophyll). The number of reefs and seagrasses exposed to plume waters varied from year to year, and was dependent on the characteristics of the event. Over the 11 years, out of the major 37 reefs and 13 seagrass meadows identified in the Tully marine area, between 11 (30%) and 37 coral reefs (100%) and most of the seagrass meadows were inundated by either a primary or secondary plume every year.

Item ID: 10765
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-6059
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2010 23:30
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960502 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Environments @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960506 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments @ 50%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 36
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