Territory Stories

Assessment of sediment quality indicators for long term monitoring in Darwin Harbour: Final report



Assessment of sediment quality indicators for long term monitoring in Darwin Harbour: Final report


Northern Territory. Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT; DEPWS Technical Report 32/2021




Darwin Harbour


This report is a deliverable within a sediment quality pilot project entitled Developing (and trialling) robust sample designs for change detection. The aim of the pilot project is to improve the knowledge base for sediment quality monitoring in Darwin Harbour and provide the basis for a long-term monitoring program aimed at change detection. The objectives of this study are to: (i) evaluate the utility of a range of sediment quality indicators for potential use in a future long-term monitoring program; (ii) fill gaps in available baseline data, in particular for pesticides and hydrocarbons; (iii) compare measured contaminant concentrations to national guideline values, where applicable; and (iv) make recommendations for a long-term sediment quality monitoring program.


Made available by via Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT)

Table of contents

1. Introduction -- 2. Site descriptions -- 3. Study design -- 4. Metal(loid)s -- 5. Hydrocarbons and pesticides -- 6. Carbon, nitrogen and sulphur constituents -- 7. Recommendations and next steps -- 8. References -- 9. Appendix A: Site descriptions (supplementary material) -- 10. Appendix B: Fieldwork summary (supplementary material) -- 11. Appendix C: Rationale and guidelines for measured pollutants (supplementary material) -- 12. Figure Appendix D. Maps of the study areas including locations of random and designated 121 . Map of the final site sites -- 13. Appendix E. Summary of analytical methods -- 14. Appendix F: Identifying normalising constituents for metal(loid)s -- 15. Appendix G: Metal(loid) change detection example -- 16. Appendix H: Near-total metal(loid) concentration summary -- 17. Appendix I: Can the design detect normalised concentrations above backgrounds -- 18. Appendix J: Interpolated maps of normalised metal(loid) concentrations -- 19. Appendix K: Some sources of variability in the metal(loid) concentrations -- 20. Appendix L: The Cu-Pb-Zn mean enrichment quotient -- 21. Appendix M. Interim background Cu, Pb and Zn concentrations -- 22. Appendix N: Summary of hydrocarbon and pesticide concentrations -- 23. Appendix O: A case for normalising total hydrocarbon concentrations -- 24. Appendix P: Organic matter normalisations -- 25. Appendix Q: The regional 15N context -- List of Figures




Sediment Quality; Northern Territory; Darwin Harbour

Publisher name

Northern Territory Government

Place of publication



DEPWS Technical Report 32/2021


226 pages : colour illustrations and maps ; 30 cm

File type





Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



Parent handle


Citation address


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain the names, voices and images of people who have died, as well as other culturally sensitive content. Please be aware that some collection items may use outdated phrases or words which reflect the attitude of the creator at the time, and are now considered offensive.

We use temporary cookies on this site to provide functionality.
By continuing to use this site without changing your settings, you consent to our use of cookies.