Monitoring and assessing salinity and temperature variations in Hervey Bay

Ribbe, Joachim (2008) Monitoring and assessing salinity and temperature variations in Hervey Bay. Project Report. University of Southern Queensland , Toowoomba, Australia. [Report]

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This report documents five hydrographic surveys that were conducted in Hervey Bay during September 2004, August 2007, December 2007, May 2008 and June 2008. Four of those were funded by the BMRG activity A0074 - Monitoring and Assessing Salinity and Temperature Variations in Hervey Bay. Each survey covered an area of about 4000 km2. A total of 269 vertical temperature, conductivity and depth (CTD) profiles were collected on a sampling grid of approximately five nautical miles in both longitudinal and latitudinal direction.

The hydrographic situations observed document the existence of a hypersalinity or maximum salinity zone along the western region of Hervey Bay in four out of five surveys. The surveys were conducted during a period of variable freshwater supply from precipitation and river discharge which together with evaporation influence salinity within Hervey Bay. The Mary River is the main tributary in the region supplying most of the total river discharge to Hervey Bay.

Two particular notable rainfall events took place during August 2007 and May/June 2008, and this report documents the response of Hervey to those events. The August 2007 hydrographic survey followed a rainfall event which had no significant basin-wide impact upon the hypersalinity zone. In contrast, the May/June 2008 rainfall event resulted in the erosion of the hypersalinity zone. In both cases, the Mary River discharge was about the same. The difference in the basin-wide response is most likely due to the more wide-spread rainfall in May/June 2008 which pre-conditioned the Bay and lowered salinity throughout. Mary River discharge subsequently resulted in a complete erosion of the salinity maximum zone.

The data reported in this document link river catchments and processes to a coastal system. Changes in river discharges are impacting directly upon the hydrographic structure of Hervey Bay.

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Item Type: Report (Project Report)
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: USQ publication.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Biological and Physical Sciences
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2008 03:02
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2014 05:03
Uncontrolled Keywords: Hervey Bay; hypersalinity; marine environment; ocean circulation; Queensland; coastal lagoon; monitoring; observations
Fields of Research : 04 Earth Sciences > 0405 Oceanography > 040503 Physical Oceanography
04 Earth Sciences > 0401 Atmospheric Sciences > 040105 Climatology (excl.Climate Change Processes)
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments

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