A simple technique for estimating the recovery rate of a subtropical estuarine system after a flood event

Christie Schacht, Charles James Lemckert

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue


The Fitzroy River is one of Australia's largest river systems, with an estuarine section extending 60 km from its mouth to a tidal limiting barrage. The Fitzroy River, whose catchment is 142450 km2 experiences annual short-lived flooding as a result of intermittent heavy summer rainfall events. This study revealed that the Fitzroy River estuary behaves as an enclosed bay as it does not experience a freshwater inflow after the cessation of a flood event. There was a need to develop a predictive estuarine recovery graph as typical formulas, (such as the fraction of freshwater) did not apply. Implications of this simplistic (salinity recovery) graph will lead to a better understanding and knowledge base for both the independent and commercial fisheries. The reason for this being that a during a flood event, the majority of freshwater species (upstream of the barrage) and estuarine -dependant (downstream) species are washed into the adjacent Pacific Ocean. The re-migration of both the fresh and estuarine dependant species after the flood event is closely related to the rate of salinity recovery
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-418
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Coastal Research
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


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