NESP TWQ Round 5 - Project 5.8 – What’s really damaging the Reef? Tracing the origin and fate of the environmentally detrimental sediment and associated bioavailable nutrients

Region map

Recent research has shown that only a portion of the fine sediment fraction delivered from rivers draining into the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon (GBRL) reaches coral reefs and seagrass meadows. The specific sources of this sediment, which affects the health of corals and seagrasses, are as yet unresolved. This project, for the first time, characterised and traced the origin(s), fate and nutrient bioavailability of this environmentally detrimental sediment using samples collected in flood plumes and during resuspension events. This enabled direct spatial targeting of the sources of this material to achieve maximum benefits to GBR health from catchment management actions.

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31 March 2021

This dataset documents the spatial and temporal variability of resuspension events and sediment dynamics at seven Great Barrier Reef Lagoon inshore locations using continuous logger data (10 min sampling intervals) over 3 ½ years and analysed the quantity of sediment collected in newly designed sediment traps. The dataset highlights the influence of river discharge events on sediment dynamics across these locations.

*This dataset is currently under embargo.

10 March 2021

The dataset contains the particle size distribution analysis (on a Malvern Mastersizer 3000 laser diffraction) and major and trace element geochemistry data for end of river and flood plume samples from the 2017, 2018 and 2019 Burdekin flood events as well as for the 2017 and 2018 Tully flood events. Additional data are provided from the Ross River, Haughton River and Johnstone River.

* This dataset is currently under embargo.

10 March 2021

This data set provides detailed information about the chemical composition, bioavailability and relative abundance of organic compounds in plant material and the organic associated with soil and sediment samples collected from terrestrial and marine environment of the Great Barrier Reef.

*This dataset is currently under embargo.