Inferring coastal processes from regional-scale mapping of 222Radon and salinity: examples from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Stieglitz, Thomas C., Cook, Peter G., and Burnett, William C. (2010) Inferring coastal processes from regional-scale mapping of 222Radon and salinity: examples from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 101 (7). pp. 544-552.

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Abstract

The radon isotope 222Rn and salinity in coastal surface water were mapped on regional scales, to improve the understanding of coastal processes and their spatial variability. Radon was measured with a surface-towed, continuously recording multi-detector setup on a moving vessel. Numerous processes and locations of land–ocean interaction along the Central Great Barrier Reef coastline were identified and interpreted based on the data collected. These included riverine fluxes, terrestrially-derived fresh submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) and the tidal pumping of seawater through mangrove forests. Based on variations in the relationship of the tracers radon and salinity, some aspects of regional freshwater inputs to the coastal zone and to estuaries could be assessed. Concurrent mapping of radon and salinity allowed an efficient qualitative assessment of land–ocean interaction on various spatial and temporal scales, indicating that such surveys on coastal scales can be a useful tool to obtain an overview of SGD locations and processes.

Item ID: 11922
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: radon; salinity; mixing; coastal; estuaries; submarine groundwater discharge; mangroves; Great Barrier Reef
ISSN: 1879-1700
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2010 00:04
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience > 040603 Hydrogeology @ 50%
04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0405 Oceanography > 040503 Physical Oceanography @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9611 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water > 961102 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water in Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 50%
86 MANUFACTURING > 8615 Instrumentation > 861503 Scientific Instruments @ 50%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 15
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