Natural turbidity variability and weather forecasts in risk management of anthropogenic sediment discharge near sensitive environments

Orpin, Alan R., Ridd, Peter V., Thomas, Séverine, Anthony, Kenneth R.N., Marshall, Paul, and Oliver, Jamie (2004) Natural turbidity variability and weather forecasts in risk management of anthropogenic sediment discharge near sensitive environments. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 49 (7). pp. 602-612.

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Abstract

Coastal development activities can cause local increases in turbidity and sedimentation. This study characterises the spatial and temporal variability of turbidity near an inshore fringing coral reef in the central Great Barrier Reef, under a wide range of natural conditions. Based on the observed natural variability, we outline a risk management scheme to minimise the impact of construction-related turbidity increases. Comparison of control and impact sites proved unusable for real-time management of turbidity risks. Instead, we suggest using one standard deviation from ambient conditions as a possible conservative upper limit of an acceptable projected increase in turbidity. In addition, the use of regional weather forecast as a proxy for natural turbidity is assessed. This approach is simple and cheap but also has limitations in very rough conditions, when an anthropogenic turbidity increase could prove fatal to corals that are already stressed under natural conditions.

Item ID: 6858
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3363
Keywords: coastal development; coral reef; Great Barrier Reef; impact management; sediment; turbidity
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2010 02:51
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0405 Oceanography > 040503 Physical Oceanography @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9611 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water > 961102 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water in Coastal and Estuarine Environments @ 100%
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