Dispersal of suspended sediments and nutrients in the Great Barrier Reef lagoon during river-discharge events: conclusions from satellite remote sensing and concurrent flood-plume sampling

Brodie, Jon, Schroeder, Thomas, Rohde, Ken, Faithful, John, Masters, Bronwyn, Dekker, Arnold, Brando, Vittorio, and Maughan, Mirjam (2010) Dispersal of suspended sediments and nutrients in the Great Barrier Reef lagoon during river-discharge events: conclusions from satellite remote sensing and concurrent flood-plume sampling. Marine and Freshwater Research, 61 (6). pp. 651-664.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website: http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/MF0803...
 
75
5


Abstract

Intense wet-season rainfall in January 2005 caused rivers in the Mackay–Whitsunday region of Queensland, Australia, to produce large discharges to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) lagoon. The regional land use is dominated by sugarcane cultivation, beef grazing and urban uses. The high nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) fluxes from these land uses via river runoff produced a massive phytoplankton bloom in the GBR lagoon, which, after 9 days, had spread 150 km offshore. The plume and algal bloom surrounded inner-shelf reefs of the GBR such as Brampton Island Reef and its spread was tracked with a variety of satellite sensors including MODIS, SeaWiFS and Landsat over the 9-day period. The ability to be able to access imagery from a large number of satellite sensors allowed almost daily estimates of the extent of plume to be made, despite periods of cloud. Analysis of water samples from the plume revealed elevated (2–50 times higher) concentrations of Chlorophyll a (and hence phytoplankton biomass), up to 50 times higher than in non-flood conditions, nutrients (2–100 times higher) and herbicide residues (10–100 times higher) compared with GBR lagoon waters in non-discharge conditions. The concentration data from the samples and estimated exposure periods from the satellite images allowed estimates of the exposure of GBR marine ecosystems (coral reefs, the pelagic community, seagrass beds and mangrove forests) to the terrestrial contaminants to be made.

Item ID: 15402
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: flood plumes, Great Barrier Reef, nutrients, phytoplankton bloom, remote sensing, suspended sediments
ISSN: 1448-6059
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2011 05:00
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 > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960604 Environmental Management Systems @ 30%
Downloads: Total: 5
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page