Territory Stories

Water Quality of the Roper River 2012 - 2016



Water Quality of the Roper River 2012 - 2016


Schult, Julia; Novak, Peter


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT; 02/2017




Roper River


The aim of this report is to summarise the water quality data collected under four different monitoring programs that have been conducted within the Roper river catchment between 2012 and 2016. A detailed description of the programs is provided in section 3. In particular, the report aims to explore 1. Longitudinal (downstream) changes in dry season water quality 2. Temporal changes in dry season water quality between the early to late dry season 3. Inter-annual differences in dry season water quality 4. Spatial and temporal variations in diurnal patterns of water quality over the dry season 5. Relationship of water quality and discharge over one wet season; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).

Table of contents

1 Acknowledgments -- 2 Background and Study Aims -- 3 Catchment Description -- 4 Data sources and sampling methods -- 4.1 Data Sources -- 4.2 Sample collection and analysis methods -- 5 Water types -- 5.1 Introduction and Methods -- 5.2 Results and Discussion -- 6 Longitudinal variation in dry season water quality -- 6.1 Introduction and Methods -- 6.2 Results and Discussion -- 6.2.1 Physico-chemical parameters -- 6.2.2 Nutrients -- 7 Seasonal and interannual changes in water quality -- 7.1 Introduction and Methods -- 7.2 Results and Discussion -- 7.2.1 Physico-chemical parameters -- 7.2.2 Nutrients -- 8 Nutrient Loads -- 8.1 Introduction and Methods -- 8.2 Results and Discussion -- 9 Diurnal patterns of dissolved oxygen, pH and temperature -- 9.1 Introduction -- 9.2 Methods -- 9.3 Results -- 9.4 Discussion -- 10 Wet season Water Quality -- 10.1.1 Introduction and Methods -- 10.1.2 Results and Discussion -- 11 Conclusion -- 12 References




Water Quality; Roper River

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Department of Natural Resources Environment and the Arts

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63 page : colour maps ; 32 cm.

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Water Quality of the Roper River 2012-2016 7 Figure 1. Location of Limestone aquifers and Roper River catchment The catchment is of low relief with elevations in the northern catchments of the Waterhouse and Wilton Rivers ranging from 200 to 350 m AHD in central Arnhem Land and 200 to 250 m AHD in the southern catchment of the Strangways and Hodgson Rivers. The Roper River itself is a lowland river with an elevation of 120m AHD at its start near Mataranka. Eucalyptus woodland is the dominant native vegetation type in the catchment with smaller areas of Melaleuca woodland and some tussock grassland (NVIS 2007). The wetter northern parts of the catchment also contain areas of Eucalyptus open forest. The region is sparsely populated. The largest settlements in the catchment are the town of Mataranka in the west and the Aboriginal community of Ngukurr in the east. The major land uses in the catchment are traditional indigenous uses and grazing under natural vegetation (LUMP 2008). More recently, some large forestry projects have been established in the Mataranka area. The Roper River area has a wet-dry monsoonal climate. Mean annual rainfall ranges from 1100 mm in the north to approximately 600 mm in the south. The vast majority of rainfall (> 90%) occurs during the wet season (November to April) when convective storms, cyclones and monsoonal conditions occur. The extended dry season lasts from May and October with very little rainfall occurring during this time. Figure 2 shows the long-term rainfall and flow patterns in the upper and middle reaches of the river. Gulf of Carpentaria

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