Options for managing hypoxic blackwater events in river systems: a review

Kerr, Janice L., Baldwin, Darren S. and Whitworth, Kerry L. (2013) Options for managing hypoxic blackwater events in river systems: a review. Journal of Environmental Management, 114 139-147. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.10.013

Author Kerr, Janice L.
Baldwin, Darren S.
Whitworth, Kerry L.
Title Options for managing hypoxic blackwater events in river systems: a review
Journal name Journal of Environmental Management   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0301-4797
Publication date 2013-01-15
Year available 2012
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.10.013
Volume 114
Start page 139
End page 147
Total pages 9
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Academic Press
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Abstract Blackwater events are characterised by a high concentration of dissolved organic carbon in the water column. They occur naturally in lowland rivers with forested floodplains and bring a variety of benefits to both aquatic and floodplain biota. However, particularly when accompanied by high temperatures, respiration of the organic carbon may cause blackwater to become hypoxic. This may lead to a range of lethal and sub-lethal effects on the aquatic biota. We review the current scientific knowledge concerning the management of blackwater and hypoxia, and examine how this knowledge may be applied to the management of hypoxic blackwater events in lowland river systems.A range of management options, which aim to either prevent the development of hypoxic blackwater or to reintroduce oxygen into deoxygenated waters, are reported. Mitigation options that may be applicable to lowland river systems include manipulating the season and magnitude of floods in regulated rivers, increasing roughness in flow paths, establishing oxygenated refugia for aquatic biota and introducing hydraulic structures that promote turbulence and re-aeration.With climatic changes trending towards a scenario where extreme events leading to the development of hypoxic blackwater are more probable, it is now vital to validate and optimise management options on local and regional scales and work towards closing knowledge gaps. With judicious management of regulated rivers, it is possible to minimise the impacts of hypoxic flows while preserving the benefits brought to floodplain and river ecosystems by seasonal flooding and carbon exchange.
Keyword Dissolved organic carbon
Dissolved oxygen
Forested floodplain
Litter accumulation
Lowland river
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online: 6 November 2012.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Centre for Water in the Minerals Industry
Official 2014 Collection
Sustainable Minerals Institute Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 12 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 09 Apr 2013, 10:24:26 EST by Janice Kerr on behalf of Centre for Water in the Minerals Industry