Towards environmental management of water turbidity within open coastal waters of the Great Barrier Reef

Macdonald, Rachael K., Ridd, Peter V., Whinney, James C., Larcombe, Piers and Neil, David T. (2013) Towards environmental management of water turbidity within open coastal waters of the Great Barrier Reef. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 74 1: 82-94. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2013.07.026


Author Macdonald, Rachael K.
Ridd, Peter V.
Whinney, James C.
Larcombe, Piers
Neil, David T.
Title Towards environmental management of water turbidity within open coastal waters of the Great Barrier Reef
Journal name Marine Pollution Bulletin   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0025-326X
1879-3363
Publication date 2013-09-15
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2013.07.026
Volume 74
Issue 1
Start page 82
End page 94
Total pages 13
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Abstract Water turbidity and suspended sediment concentration (SSC) are commonly used as part of marine monitoring and water quality plans. Current management plans utilise threshold SSC values derived from mean-annual turbidity concentrations. Little published work documents typical ranges of turbidity for reefs within open coastal waters. Here, time-series turbidity measurements from 61 sites in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) and Moreton Bay, Australia, are presented as turbidity exceedance curves and derivatives. This contributes to the understanding of turbidity and SSC in the context of environmental management in open-coastal reef environments. Exceedance results indicate strong spatial and temporal variability in water turbidity across inter/intraregional scales. The highest turbidity across 61 sites, at 50% exceedance (T50) is 15.3 NTU and at 90% exceedance (T90) 4.1 NTU. Mean/median turbidity comparisons show strong differences between the two, consistent with a strongly skewed turbidity regime. Results may contribute towards promoting refinement of water quality management protocols.
Keyword Exceedance
Inshore reef
Reef management
Suspended sediment
Terrestrial runoff
Turbidity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
Official 2014 Collection
 
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