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Investigation of the hydrodynamics of the Mary River system : a macro-tidal, freshwater estuarine system

Smith, Rowan (2016). Investigation of the hydrodynamics of the Mary River system : a macro-tidal, freshwater estuarine system. Bachelor of Engineering Co-op (4th Year Project) Thesis, Charles Darwin University.

Document type: Thesis
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Author Smith, Rowan
Title Investigation of the hydrodynamics of the Mary River system : a macro-tidal, freshwater estuarine system
Institution Charles Darwin University
Publication Date 2016-10
Thesis Type Bachelor of Engineering Co-op (4th Year Project)
Supervisor Fairfield, Charlie A.
Miloshis, Mike
Subjects ENGINEERING
0905 - Civil Engineering
Abstract The primary aim of this thesis is to investigate the movement of saltwater in the Mary River, as it propagates inland and recedes repeatedly under the influence of the tide. The area under investigation is Sampan Creek, which is the system’s major outlet channel to the sea, located approximately 100 km East of Darwin.

The literature research stage of the thesis primarily focuses on the review of previous global and local saltwater intrusion investigations. Another focus of this stage includes a review of the varying methodologies and approaches used to collect hydrodynamic data. Finally a review of the literature surrounding the use of barrages within the Mary River region will be conducted as part of this thesis investigation.

The practical stage of this investigation involves the collection of hydrodynamic data. The hydrodynamic data that will be collected includes: water depth, conductivity and temperature (as a proxy for salinity), salinity gradient profiles and fresh water discharge. We have been able to obtain continuous water level data, with respect to Australian height datum (AHD), and salinity profiles, over a 6 month period ranging from February 2016 to August 2016. This data has been captured at 7 sites along Sampan Creek and offshore.

The final stage of the thesis involves the analysis of the hydrodynamic data collected, including the detailing of the saltwater movement through the system, allowing us to improve our understanding of how this system behaves. The analysis of the data will also include a brief examination of the tidal dynamics, tidal and fresh water interactions and any additional patterns that emerge from the data. The thesis will investigate the applications of the hydrodynamic data, in particular its relevance to hydrodynamic models and how it may assist in the design of barrages, as well as informing future land management and use decisions.
Keyword salt water intrusion
Mary River
hydrodynamic data collection
tidal dynamics
hydrodynamic modelling
barrage construction
land management


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Created: Thu, 17 Nov 2016, 11:28:28 CST by Jessie Ng