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Nutrient concentrations in four Darwin Region streams



Nutrient concentrations in four Darwin Region streams


Schult, Julia

Issued by

Northern Territory. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Water Monitoring Branch. Natural Resource Management Division. Conversation and Natural Resources


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT; Report 24/2004




Darwin Region


In this study, the nutrient content of three rural streams and one urban drain in the Darwin region are examined. The aims of this study were to: • Record nutrient concentrations in the four waterways. • determine the proportions of nutrients available in soluble, and inorganic or particulate form. • determine differences in nutrient composition between baseflow and storm flow periods. • determine seasonal differences in nutrient fractionation. • compare nutrient contents of streams that drain catchments with different land uses and varying degrees of development.


Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).

Table of contents

Introduction -- Methods -- Results and Discussion -- Conclusion -- References




Water Quality; Nutrient capacity; Chemical analysis; Suspended solids

Publisher name

Northern Territory Government

Place of publication



Report 24/2004


iv, 23 [5] pages : charts ; 30 cm

File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

Nutrient concentrations in four Darwin region streams 5 Where concentrations of chemicals were below detection level, half the detection level was used for calculations of other variables and summary statistics. The results of the chemical analyses are presented in Appendix B. To identify potential differences in nutrient content and fractionation between base flow and storm flow periods, samples were separated post-hoc into baseflow and storm flow by inspection of the hydrograph for each sampling occasion (Appendix A). Such a distinction was not possible for the Winnellie site, where the time of sample collection was not recorded. 3 Results and Discussion 3.1 Background water quality Background water quality was only measured in Bees Creek and the Elizabeth River. Median turbidity, water temperature and pH were similar in both streams. Turbidity was higher in the early wet season and decreased over time. Water temperatures ranged from 20.6C to 30.6 C in Bees Creek and 22.4 C to 30.4 C the Elizabeth River. The streams differed in median conductivity, which was substantially higher in the Elizabeth River (35.1 S/cm 14.5) than in Bees Creek (21.9 S/cm 8.0). However, variability was high and did not follow a seasonal pattern. Dissolved oxygen levels fell sharply at the end of the wet season in the Elizabeth River while they remained relatively constant in Bees Creek. Table 2 and Figure 1 provide summary statistics and seasonal trends for physical water quality parameters.

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