Terrestrial discharge into the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon: nutrient behavior in coastal waters

Devlin, M.J., and Brodie, J. (2005) Terrestrial discharge into the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon: nutrient behavior in coastal waters. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 51 (1). pp. 9-22.

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Abstract

Pollution of coastal regions of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA) is dominated by river discharge associated with agricultural development of the adjacent catchments. Runoff of sediment, nutrients and pesticides has sharply increased since European settlement. Since 1991 plumes from river discharge entering the GBRWHA have been mapped by aerial mapping of plume edges and concentrations of contaminants in plumes measured. Plume dispersion is governed primarily by wind speed and direction. Most plumes spread in a band up to 50km from the coast. Particulate material discharged in the plumes is trapped within 10km of the coast. Dissolved nutrients disperse much further and elevated nutrient concentrations are measurable at distances of hundreds of kilometres from river mouths. This differential transport of particulate versus dissolved nutrients is important for the potential effects of these materials and management of their generation on the Great Barrier Reef catchment.

Item ID: 9032
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: flood plumes; Great Barrier Reef; land runoff; nutrients; suspended sediment; water quality
ISSN: 1879-3363
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2010 05:23
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment @ 40%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 30%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960501 Ecosystem Assessment and Management at Regional or Larger Scales @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 40%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960504 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Environments @ 30%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 100
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