Trace metal analysis of Torres Strait water, sediments, and seagrasses 2019 to 2020 (NESP TWQ 5.14, CSIRO and JCU)

The data set comprises 4 spreadsheets containing trace metal concentrations measured in waters benthic, suspended sediments and seagrasses collected across the Torres Strait during the NESP TWQ 5.14 project. Details of the sampling locations (including coordinates), general chemical and physical parameters and laboratory quality control data are provided. The seagrass data set is also supported by historical data from previous studies: Dight, I.J., Gladstone, W. (1993). Torres Strait baseline study: pilot study final report June 1993. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Research Publication No. 29. Townsville, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Waterhouse, J., Petus, C., Bainbridge, S., Birrer, S.C., Brodie, J., Chariton, A.C., Dafforn, K.A., Johnson, J.E., Johnston, E.L., Li, Y., Lough, J., Martins, F., O’Brien, D., Tracey, D., Wolanski, E., (2018). Identifying the water quality and ecosystem health threats to the Torres Strait and Far Northern Great Barrier Reef arising from runoff of the Fly River. Report to the National Environmental Science Programme. Reef and Rainforest Research Centre Limited, Cairns, 157 pages. The overall aim of the project is to identify the fate of waters from the Fly River in Papua New Guinea and their potential impact on the Torres Strait region. These data sets are metal concentrations in waters, sediments, and seagrasses from locations in the Torres Strait. Some background knowledge of environmental chemistry and water quality management in Australia is needed to properly interpret this data. Methods: Full details of sample collection, chemical analysis, and data processing are provided in the NESP report: Waterhouse, J., Apte, S.C., Petus, C., Angel, B.M., Wolanski, E., Bainbridge, S., Tracey, D., Jarolimek, C.V., King, J., Mellors, J., Brodie, J., (2021). NESP Project 5.14. Assessing the influence of the Fly River discharge on the Torres Strait. Report to the National Environmental Science Programme. Reef and Rainforest Research Centre Limited, Cairns. In brief: - Water samples were collected at locations around Boigu and Saibai (see maps in spreadsheets for details). - Sediment cores were collected using a gravity corer at locations detailed in the spreadsheets and sectioned in the field. The samples were frozen and transported to CSIRO Lucas Heights for analysis. - Seagrass samples were either, taken by hand or seagrass rake (5 replicates), transferred to ziplock plastic bags and stored frozen and then transported to the CSIRO Lucas Heights Laboratory for trace metal analysis. - Water samples were filtered, metals extracted and determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. - Sediment samples were digested in mixed acids using microwave assisted dissolution and determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. - Sediment was rinsed from the seagrass leaves with Milli-Q® water before a minimum of 200 mg of seagrass was weighed for each sample. The seagrass was then freeze dried using a Christ Alpha 1-2 LD Freeze Dryer. The dried seagrass samples were digested by high pressure/temperature nitric acid microwave digestion using a CEM MARS6 Microwave (in-house Method C-225). Metals were quantified by Inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) using an Agilent 8800 ICP-MS (in-house method C-209). The certified reference material BCR-279 (Sea Lettuce, Ulva Lactua) was digested and analysed with the samples as a check on accuracy. Limitations of the data: The data provided presents a snapshot of water, sediment and seagrass quality at locations in the Torres Strait. It is not a comprehensive data set in terms of spatial and temporal coverage. Guidelines have not yet been developed to identify environmentally acceptable ranges of trace element concentrations for seagrass. Many factors can affect metal concentrations measured. Factors can include sampling intensity, timing of sampling, analytical procedures; relative concentration of other metals in the plant and the surrounding environment; as well as the species, part, and age of plant analysed. Consequently, any comparisons or conclusions between studies should be made with caution. Format: The data set comprises four Excel spreadsheets: - "NESP 5.14 Dissolved metals data.xlsx" - "NESP 5.14 Metals in benthic sediments.xlsx" - "NESP 5.14 Metals in suspended sediments.xlsx" - "NESP 5.14 eAtlas NESP 5.14 seagrass submission.xlsx" Important note: Tabs are also provided in the spreadsheet to show the data from the 2016 and 1991 Torres Strait Baseline Study for reference – however, these were obviously not collected as part of Project 5.14. References: Waterhouse, J., Apte, S.C., Petus, C., Angel, B.M., Wolanski, E., Bainbridge, S., Tracey, D., Jarolimek, C.V., King, J., Mellors, J., Brodie, J., (2021). NESP Project 5.14. Assessing the influence of the Fly River discharge on the Torres Strait. Report to the National Environmental Science Programme. Reef and Rainforest Research Centre Limited, Cairns. Waterhouse, J., Petus, C., Brodie, J., Bainbridge, S., Wolanski, E., Dafforn, K.A., Birrer, S.C., Lough, J., Tracey, D., Johnson, J.E., Chariton, A.C., Johnston, E.L., Li, Y., Martins, F., O’Brien, D. (2018) Identifying water quality and ecosystem health threats to the Torres Strait and Far Northern GBR from runoff of the Fly River. Report to the National Environmental Science Program. Reef and Rainforest Research Centre Limited, Cairns (162pp.). Dight, I.J., Gladstone, W. (1993). Torres Strait baseline study: Pilot study final report June 1993. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Research Publication No. 29. Townsville, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Restrictions on raw data: Data set owners and TSRA rangers should be acknowledged for the data collection. Data Location: This dataset is filed in the eAtlas enduring data repository at: data\custodian\2019-2022-NESP-TWQ-5\5.14_TS-water-quality

Principal Investigator
Dr Simon Apte CSIRO Land and Water
Co Investigator
Mellors Jane, Dr. TropWATER, James Cook University
Co Investigator
Brad Angel CSIRO Land and Water
Co Investigator
Chad Jarolimek CSIRO Land and Water
Co Investigator
Josh King CSIRO Land and Water
Point Of Contact
Dr Simon Apte CSIRO Land and Water Simon.Apte@csiro.au

Data collected from 10 Dec 2019 until 31 Dec 2020


Data Usage Constraints
  • Attribution 3.0 Australia