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Title: Interaction between a river and its wetland: evidence from the Murray River for spatial variability in diatom and radioisotope records
Authors: Grundell, R
Gell, PA
Mills, K
Zawadzki, A
Keywords: Rivers
Issue Date: 1-Feb-2012
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Grundell, R., Gell, P., Mills, K., & Zawadzki, A. (2012). Interaction between a river and its wetland: evidence from the Murray River for spatial variability in diatom and radioisotope records. Journal of Paleolimnology, 47 (2), 205-219. doi:10.1007/s10933-011-9572-3
Abstract: Sinclair Flat is small wetland, located within the gorge section of the Murray River floodplain. situated near Blanchetown, South Australia, the wetland is closely linked to the River and, since regulation, has become permanently inundated. High summer evaporation rates deplete the volume of water within the wetland. However, this is compensated by perennial inflow via a permanent inlet from the River. This site provides an opportunity to explore the relative contribution of river and wetland diatomflora to the sediment record, and the fluvial and aerial contribution of radiometric isotopes to the system. The geochronological and biostratigraphic data provide an insight into the history of the water quality of Sinclair Flat. Evidence exists for the River being a source of sediments and isotopes and of diatom species typical of the main river channel. Prior to 1950, Sinclair Flat was an oligotrophic, oligosaline, clear-water wetland. The wetland shifted gradually to an environment that favoured clear-water benthic species, most likely as a consequence of changes following river regulation in the 1920s, although the capacity to date these sediments is limited. During the 1950s, the wetland became plankton dominated. Peaks in epiphytic diatoms during the 1960s suggest increased emergent macrophyte cover. The contemporary condition is of a connected, turbid, eutrophic and mesosaline lagoon. The ecological condition of Sinclair Flat has diverged considerably from its historical range of condition. This record supports evidence from upstream of widespread state switches in the Murray-Darling Basin floodplain wetlands. This record also lends considerable weight to modern studies attesting to the degraded state of the waterways of the Murray-Darling Basin and the impact of river regulation practices on the water quality of these ecosystems.© 2012, Springer.
Gov't Doc #: 4992
ISSN: 0921-2728
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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