The Hunter River estuary water quality model

W. Glamore, S. Mitrovic, J. Ruprecht, K. Dafforn, P. Scanes, A. Ferguson, D. Rayner, B. Miller, M. Dieber, T. Tucker, P. Rahman, I. King

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


    This paper presents a detailed hydrodynamic and water quality model to simulate ecological processes in the Hunter River estuary. Following an extensive 3-year multi-disciplinary field campaign, the model was developed to assess total catchment management options. The model outcomes are linked to existing water sharing plans, pollution reduction plans and coastal reforms underway in NSW. Initially a detailed scoping study was undertaken to determine the values and requirements of the key stakeholders across the catchment. Data gaps were subsequently prioritised, and an inter-agency modelling oversight committee was formed to ensure that the modelling tools would be accepted across the region. Following these developmental stages, a field program was initiated which included: estuary wide flow gauging and water quality assessments, microbial linkages, ecotoxicological assessments, sedimentation dynamics, DNA sequencing, qPCR analyses, catchment hydrological flux measurements, nutrient mesocosm experiments, bathymetry surveys and the development of crop irrigation modules. The field data analyses resulted in a conceptual model of the eco-hydraulics of the estuary. A robust numerical model was formulated through an extensive process of external peer review. A source model was selected that ensured the broadest flexibility and ongoing usage rates. A multi-disciplinary approach was undertaken to ensure the model represents a wide range of estuarine processes. The final model is currently undergoing additional peer review, calibration/validation and simulation testing.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAustralasian Coasts and Ports 2019 Conference
    Subtitle of host publicationfuture directions from 40º S and beyond, Hobart, 10-13 September 2019
    Place of PublicationHobart
    PublisherEngineers Australia
    Number of pages7
    ISBN (Print)9781925627237
    Publication statusPublished - 2019
    EventAustralasian Coasts and Ports 2019 - Hobart, Australia
    Duration: 10 Sep 201913 Sep 2019


    ConferenceAustralasian Coasts and Ports 2019


    • estuarine hydrodynamics
    • coastal management
    • water quality
    • wastewater treatment


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