Salinity in the Northern Gulf Region. Condition report for the Northern Gulf Regional Management Group

Nelson, Paul, and Webb, Ian (2004) Salinity in the Northern Gulf Region. Condition report for the Northern Gulf Regional Management Group. Report. Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines, Mareeba.

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Abstract

There is very little information on salinity hazards and the risk of further salinisation in the Northern Gulf region. In this report we summarise the information that is known, referencing all studies that have been done. Large naturally saline areas occur on the coastal plains, and smaller outbreaks are known to occur further inland. From the sparse data available we can infer that there may be significant salt stores in soil profiles and aquifers in considerable areas. However, due to the limited extent of tree-clearing to date, the risk of further salinisation is low in non-irrigated areas. Currently available hazard and risk maps are broad, based on very little information, and should not be used to advocate any changes in land use without further studies. In irrigated or potential irrigation areas, it is essential that thorough studies of salt stores and hydrogeology be carried out if salinisation is to be prevented. The main areas of current concern for development of salinity in the irrigated areas of the region are in the Cattle Creek and Two-Mile Creek sub-catchments (MDIA) of the Upper Mitchell River. In some parts of these areas salt loads occur in the groundwater or in the lower strata of the soils. In some of these areas the groundwater has risen to within 2-4m of the soil surface. This combination of factors presents an imminent threat of salinisation. Hence continued monitoring of groundwater levels and quality is essential in all irrigated areas. One of these risk areas (Cattle Creek) is currently the subject of a pilot salinity risk assessment. Once the risk factors and processes are better understood land and water management strategies can be further improved to minimize the risk of salinisation.

Item ID: 17770
Item Type: Report (Report)
Keywords: salinisation; tree clearing; irrigation; Queensland; dry tropics; Mitchell River
ISBN: 978-1-74172-324-3
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2012 04:32
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 30%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070108 Sustainable Agricultural Development @ 30%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0503 Soil Sciences > 050302 Land Capability and Soil Degradation @ 40%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960904 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Land Management @ 40%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960910 Sparseland, Permanent Grassland and Arid Zone Land and Water Management @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9614 Soils > 961406 Sparseland, Permanent Grassland and Arid Zone Soils @ 30%
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