Effect of seasonal flushing on nutrient export characteristics of an urbanizing, remote, ungauged coastal catchment

Gayan L. Gunaratne, Ryan I J Vogwill, Matthew R. Hipsey

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    8 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Urbanization is a primary driver of nutrient export in coastal catchments; however, estimating the rate of export from urbanizing, remote and ungauged communities with episodic rainfall characteristics has rarely been reported in tropical and subtropical areas. In this study, the coastal catchment of Roebuck Bay near Broome, northwestern Australia, was instrumented to elucidate the effect of seasonal flushing on nutrient export. A cost-effective framework involving temporary gauging and community participation led to a quantitative estimate of surface hydrology and nutrient dynamics from this urbanizing, remote and ungauged catchment. The contribution of nutrient export was larger from the older Broome town site sub-catchments compared to sub-catchments that have been progressively urbanized since 2000. A distinctive seasonal first flush phenomenon, with an initial 30% of runoff volume containing 40–70% of the nutrient load was a key feature. This indicates there are opportunities for storm-water management to minimize impacts through adopting water-sensitive urban design principles.EDITOR M.C. AcremanASSOCIATE EDITOR M.D. Fidelibus

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-18
    Number of pages18
    JournalHydrological Sciences Journal
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2016

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