Management and conservation of a unique and diverse Australian river type: chain-of-ponds

Rory Williams, Kirstie Fryirs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


Many chain-of-ponds (steep-sided ponds separated by densely-vegetated valley-fill sediments or shallow ephemeral channels), once common in parts of the Australian landscape, have been modified or degraded since European settlement, resulting in gullies or continuous channels and leaving previously-saturated floodplains disconnected. This degradation resulted mainly from land-clearing and over-grazing, but the intentional drainage of these systems resulted in dewatering and the lowering of water tables across these alluvial floodplains. While there is a broad spectrum of upland discontinuous watercourses (swamps, mires, bogs, dells, etc.), chain-of-ponds have particular hydro-geomorphologic characteristics that may make them unique to Australia; yet unlike other discontinuous watercourse types, little attention has been brought to their conservation, nor are they afforded the legal protection of other ‘continuous’ rivers. This paper examines examples of chain-of-ponds from the Tablelands of New South Wales as a basis for discussing their hydro-geomorphic structure and function, and the need for better recognition, protection and rehabilitation of these unique Australian river types.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 8th Australian Stream Management Conference
EditorsGeoff J. Vietz, Alissa J. Flatley, Ian D. Rutherfurd
Place of PublicationMelbourne, Australia
PublisherRiver Basin Management Society
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9780734052988
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventAustralian Stream Management Conference (8th : 2016) - Leura, Australia
Duration: 31 Jul 20163 Aug 2016


ConferenceAustralian Stream Management Conference (8th : 2016)


  • chain-of-ponds
  • policy
  • river management
  • discontinuous watercourses
  • legislation


Dive into the research topics of 'Management and conservation of a unique and diverse Australian river type: chain-of-ponds'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this