Improvements to water quality monitoring through the inclusion of ocean colour products correlated with in-situ water quality gradients for the Great Barrier Reef

Devlin, Michelle J., Petus, Caroline, Da Silva, Eduardo, Tracey, Dieter, Wolff, Nicholas, Brodie, Jon, Waterhouse, Jane, and Martin, Katherine (2015) Improvements to water quality monitoring through the inclusion of ocean colour products correlated with in-situ water quality gradients for the Great Barrier Reef. In: Posters from the International Ocean Colour Science meeting. From: IOCS 2015: Second International Ocean Colour Science Meeting, 15-18 June 2015, San Fransisco, CA, USA.

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Abstract

There has been a well-recognized link between declining water quality and the ecological health of coastal ecosystems, particularly in recent years for the Great Barrier Reef. A strong driver of water quality change in the GBR is the pulsed or intermittent nature of terrestrial inputs into marine ecosystems, particularly close to the coast. Delivery of potentially detrimental terrestrial inputs–freshwater, sediments, nutrients and toxicants typically via flood plumes will be exacerbated under modeled climate change scenarios and presents an on-going risk to the resilience and survival of inshore GBR ecosystems. The consequence of changing weather and degraded water quality has had profound impacts on the people living and working within the Queensland coastal area, but may also be the driver of large scale reported decline in the many inshore seagrass systems and coral reefs, with concerns for the recovery potential of these impacted ecosystems. The influence of extreme weather conditions will be presented in context of wet season water quality data collected within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Monitoring program, including the spatial and temporal extent of the water quality conditions as measured by in-situ sampling and satellite imagery, particularly through the use of ocean colour correlated with water quality gradients. Effective management of the coastal zone in the Great Barrier Reef is of particular importance in light of the recent UNESCO report on coastal pressures in the GBR and the potential to place the GBR on its "World Heritage in Danger" list. Current water quality management needs of the managing authorities rely upon both remotely-sensed and in situ data. Existing remote sensing products require significant interpretation to successfully describe various water quality parameters at reef locations. Use of ocean colour products can provide a quantitative and accessible tool for scientist and managers. These RS products have proven valuable for quantifying the effects of river plumes on seagrass and coral reef habitat. Eventually, we hope to integrate RS products with model tracers, enabling us to predict how water quality will change under different river management strategies.

Item ID: 40223
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
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Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2015 02:29
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 100%
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