TRaCK: Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge

Science and knowledge that governments, communities, industries for sustainable use of Australia's tropical rivers and estuaries

Environmental flows for northern Australian rivers and estuaries, ASL Conference, 2008

TitleEnvironmental flows for northern Australian rivers and estuaries, ASL Conference, 2008
Publication TypePresentation
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsDavies, PM, Warfe, DM, Pettit, NP, Douglas, M, Bunn, SE, Kennard, M, Pusey, B, Townsend, S, Burford, M, Brooks, A, Jackson, S, Finn, M, Halliday, I, Valentine, E
KeywordsAustralia, environmental flows, flow-ecology relationships, Tropical north
Full Text

The challenge in environmental flows science is formulating flow prescriptions for rivers in the short term in the absence of site-specific ecological data; this challenge is magnified in tropical Australia due to the relative paucity of research on rivers and estuaries in this region. Australia’s tropical rivers and estuaries are characterised by their strongly seasonal flows, with almost all their runoff occurring during the wet season from November to April. While there is some variation in this flow regime across the region, the hydrology of these systems is likely to strongly influence hydraulic connectivity of rivers and estuaries, floodplain wetlands, food web structure, carbon and nutrient budgets, and biodiversity. The Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge (TRaCK) research hub is addressing this knowledge gap and conducting research focusing on understanding the biophysical structure and function of rivers and their importance to local communities. In particular, a major output of the TRaCK research is to provide the tools and guidelines to support environmental flow prescriptions for northern rivers and estuaries.