Determination of coastal ground and surface water processes and character by use of hydrochemistry and stable isotopes, Fraser Coast, Queensland

Larsen, Genevieve R. (2012) Determination of coastal ground and surface water processes and character by use of hydrochemistry and stable isotopes, Fraser Coast, Queensland. PhD by Publication, Queensland University of Technology.

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Abstract

This study was part of an integrated project developed in response to concerns regarding current and future land practices affecting water quality within coastal catchments and adjacent marine environments. Two forested coastal catchments on the Fraser Coast, Australia, were chosen as examples of low-modification areas with similar geomorphological and land-use characteristics to many other coastal zones in southeast Queensland. For this component of the overall project, organic , physico-chemical (Eh, pH and DO), ionic (Fe2+, Fe3+), and isotopic (ä13CDIC, ä15NDIN ä34SSO4) data were used to characterise waters and identify sources and processes contributing to concentrations and form of dissolved Fe, C, N and S within the ground and surface waters of these coastal catchments. Three sites with elevated Fe concentrations are discussed in detail. These included a shallow pool with intermittent interaction with the surface water drainage system, a monitoring well within a semi-confined alluvial aquifer, and a monitoring well within the fresh/saline water mixing zone adjacent to an estuary. Conceptual models of processes occurring in these environments are presented. The primary factors influencing Fe transport were; microbial reduction of Fe3+ oxyhydroxides in groundwaters and in the hyporheic zone of surface drainage systems, organic input available for microbial reduction and Fe3+ complexation, bacterial activity for reduction and oxidation, iron curtain effects where saline/fresh water mixing occurs, and variation in redox conditions with depth in ground and surface water columns. Data indicated that groundwater seepage appears a more likely source of Fe to coastal waters (during periods of low rainfall) via tidal flux. The drainage system is ephemeral and contributes little discharge to marine waters. However, data collected during a high rainfall event indicated considerable Fe loads can be transported to the estuary mouth from the catchment.

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ID Code: 53334
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD by Publication)
Supervisor: Cox, Malcolm, Grace, Peter, & Smith, James
Keywords: Fraser Coast, water processes, stable isotopes
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 27 Aug 2012 03:10
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2016 00:02

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