Flood plain wetlands are crucial to the ecological functioning of Australian lowland rivers. River regulation has resulted in major changes to riverine flow regime and consequently the inundation regimes of flood plain wetlands. This paper presents a procedure for assessing the hydrological changes to flood plain wetland inundation as a result of river regulation. Three simple hydrological measures have been developed which assess the change to the number of times flood plain wetlands are inundated as well as the length and timing of inundation. Testing these on seven key flood plain wetland systems along the Murray–lower Darling River system indicates substantial changes to inundation patterns, particularly the number of times the flood plain wetland is inundated and seasonality of inundation. In contrast median inundation period has changed little. The procedure presented has the advantage of being a repeatable measure of change and may also be used to assess the potential impact of environmental flow options. The procedure would be greatly enhanced by the use of modelled daily flow data, more comprehensive areal inundation data and correlation of inundation regime changes with ecological consequences.
|Title of host publication||IAHS Proceedings and Reports|
|Editors||Fiona J Dyer, Martin C Thoms, Jon M Olley|
|Place of Publication||United Kingdom|
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|
|Event||The Structure, Function and Management Implications of Fluvial Sedimentary Systems - Alice Springs, Alice Springs, Australia|
Duration: 2 Sep 2002 → 6 Sep 2002
|Conference||The Structure, Function and Management Implications of Fluvial Sedimentary Systems|
|Period||2/09/02 → 6/09/02|
Dyer, F. (2002). Assessing the hydrological changes to flood plain wetland inundation caused by river regulation. In F. J. Dyer, M. C. Thoms, & J. M. Olley (Eds.), IAHS Proceedings and Reports (pp. 245-253). United Kingdom: IAHS Press.