Dataset: Fine sediment dynamics on the inner shelf of the Great Barrier Reef during a flood


Fine sediment dynamics were recorded in coastal waters of the Great Barrier Reef during a moderate flood of the Tully River in February 2007 (in the wet season). The area monitored was in the vicinity of Dunk and Bedarra Islands, offshore and north of the mouths of the Tully and Murray rivers.

Moorings were deployed between 20 January and 19 February 2007 on the inner shelf. Upward looking, bottom-mounted RDI Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCP) and, at the inshore sites, Nortek single point current meters were deployed at sites along two cross-shore transects. SBE37 SeaBird salinometers, Analite nephelometers, and Nortek Awac wave gauges (recorded data in bursts of 2048 samples at 0.5 s intervals) were deployed at 4 m depth. Analite nephelometers, some with LiCor light meters, and sediment traps were also deployed at the upper and lower reef slopes at the eastern and western sides of the islands 0.5 m above the substratum, and at 4 of the mooring sites. All other instruments recorded data at 10 min intervals.

Vertical profiles of temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen concentration (DO), and suspended sediment concentration (SSC) were also obtained using a SeaBird SBE19plus CTD cum-OBS profiler at all mooring sites and along a cross-shelf transect on February 2, 4, 18 and 19, 2007.

Surface water samples were taken and processed for concentrations of dissolved and particulate nutrients, total suspended solids, chlorophyll and phaeopigments.

Sedimentation rates were calculated from 20 sediment traps. Dried material from sediment traps was analysed for percentages of carbonate, organics (loss after ignition), calcium, aluminum, iron and nutrients (total phosphorus and nitrogen, total organic and inorganic carbon.

General Information