Field and modelling investigations of fresh-water plume behaviour in response to infrequent high-precipitation events, Sydney Estuary, Australia

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Title Field and modelling investigations of fresh-water plume behaviour in response to infrequent high-precipitation events, Sydney Estuary, Australia
Author Lee, Serena B.; Birch, Gavin F.; Lemckert, Charles James
Journal Name Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Year Published 2011
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Academic Press
Abstract Runoff from the urban environment is a major contributor of non-point source contamination for many estuaries, yet the ultimate fate of this stormwater within the estuary is frequently unknown in detail. The relationship between catchment rainfall and estuarine response within the Sydney Estuary (Australia) was investigated in the present study. A verified hydrodynamic model (Environmental Fluid Dynamics Computer Code) was utilised in concert with measured salinity data and rainfall measurements to determine the relationship between rainfall and discharge to the estuary, with particular attention being paid to a significant high-precipitation event. A simplified rational method for calculating runoff based upon daily rainfall, subcatchment area and runoff coefficients was found to replicate discharge into the estuary associated with the monitored event. Determining fresh-water supply based upon estuary conditions is a novel technique which may assist those researching systems where field-measured runoff data are not available and where minor field-measured information on catchment characteristics are obtainable. The study concluded that since the monitored fresh-water plume broke down within the estuary, contaminants associated with stormwater runoff due to high-precipitation events (daily rainfall > 50 mm) were retained within the system for a longer period than was previously recognised.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2011.01.013
Copyright Statement Copyright 2011 Elsevier. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Volume 92
Issue Number 3
Page from 389
Page to 402
ISSN 0272-7714
Date Accessioned 2011-09-30
Date Available 2012-05-31T21:47:21Z
Language en_US
Research Centre Centre for Infrastructure Engineering and Management
Faculty Faculty of Science, Environment, Engineering and Technology
Subject Environmental Science and Management; Physical Oceanography
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/42650
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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