Spatial and temporal dynamics of suspended sediment causing persistent turbidity in a large reservoir: Lake Dalrymple, Queensland, Australia

Cooper, Michelle, Lewis, Stephen E., and Smithers, Scott G. (2017) Spatial and temporal dynamics of suspended sediment causing persistent turbidity in a large reservoir: Lake Dalrymple, Queensland, Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research. pp. 1-14. (In Press)

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Abstract

High turbidity in reservoirs may negatively affect aquatic ecology and water infrastructure. Although many reservoirs are turbid, the origin and intra- and interannual variability of turbidity is not well understood. To examine the cause and variability of turbidity, we measured the concentration, particle size, organic content and mineralogy of suspended and benthic sediment samples from Lake Dalrymple, a large reservoir in northern dry tropical Queensland. Samples were collected during the dry season (May–November) in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2011. Water in the reservoir is turbid (>45 nephelometric turbidity units (NTU)) throughout the year, predominantly due to colloidal particles (<0.9 μm) composed of clay and mica minerals. Benthic sediments range from 1 to 30 μm in size, suggesting that resuspension of lake bottom sediments has little effect on turbidity. Dry season turbidity levels are strongly affected by the magnitude and duration of inflow waters from the preceding wet season, reflecting the limited availability of suspended particles delivered from the upstream catchment. Elevated turbidity in the reservoir and downstream irrigation areas during the dry season is now a common feature and must be incorporated into all agricultural and wetland management plans.

Item ID: 46698
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Burdekin Falls Dam, particle size, tropical reservoir
ISSN: 1448-6059
Funders: Land and Water Australia, James Cook University, Geoscience Australia
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2016 01:59
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 100%
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