The intrusion of polluted Fly River mud into Torres Strait

Wolanski, E., Petus, C., Lambrechts, J., Brodie, J., Waterhouse, J., and Tracey, D. (2021) The intrusion of polluted Fly River mud into Torres Strait. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 166. 112243.

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There is a concern that the Fly River plume from Papua New Guinea (PNG) may be delivering mine-derived polluted mud along the southern PNG coast into the northern Torres Strait, which is the northernmost extent of the Great Barrier Reef. To quantify this threat, the mud transport dynamics along the southern PNG coast were studied using the SLIM model. The model was qualitatively verified using historical field data on sediment dynamics and compared with more recent satellite-derived turbidity data. During strong south east winds and spring tides, about 5.4% of the Fly River mud discharge enters the Torres Strait, in agreement with previous field-derived results. The annual net movement of mud is westward, thus polluted Fly River mud progressively intrudes into Torres Strait. This intrusion is slow and may take a century to reach in significant quantities at Saibai Island, the nearest Australian island to the Fly River. Field data are needed to fully validate the model and provide greater confidence in these results.

Item ID: 70436
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3363
Keywords: Calcareous mud, Currents, Mud dynamics, Mud mixing, Terrigenous mud, Waves, Wind
Copyright Information: © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2022 23:47
FoR Codes: 37 EARTH SCIENCES > 3707 Hydrology > 370704 Surface water hydrology @ 30%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4105 Pollution and contamination > 410599 Pollution and contamination not elsewhere classified @ 70%
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