Turbidity regimes over fringing coral reefs near a mining site at Lihir island, Papua New Guinea

Thomas, Severine, Ridd, Peter V., and Day, Geoff (2003) Turbidity regimes over fringing coral reefs near a mining site at Lihir island, Papua New Guinea. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 46 (8). pp. 1006-1014.

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An extensive sediment transport survey took place at Lihir Island (Papua New Guinea), where mining operations involve disposal of waste rocks and soil in nearshore waters. To investigate the potential impact of these practices over neighbouring fringing reefs, turbidity and sediment accumulation were measured continuously for extended periods. Turbidity records provided a map of observed impact zones based on turbidity thresholds. The main zoning features were (a) that an extreme turbidity gradient persists between the inner harbour (turbidity levels of 100–1000 mg l−1) and the adjacent reefs (turbidity levels in the order of 10 mg l−1), and (b) that observed zones conform with pre-operations impact predictions. Accumulation measurements unveiled no significant sediment accumulation over fringing coral reefs. This study contributes to the understanding of the potential impact of sediment discharge to nearshore waters.

Item ID: 6865
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3363
Keywords: fringing coral reef; Lihir Island; mining impact; Papua New Guinea; sediment; turbidity
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2010 04:38
FoR Codes: 02 PHYSICAL SCIENCES > 0299 Other Physical Sciences > 029904 Synchrotrons; Accelerators; Instruments and Techniques @ 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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