More than a drop in the ocean

Brisbane’s floods in January have affected more than just the river and the land – now they are stretching out into Moreton Bay as well.

A visualisation of the flood plume in Moreton Bay (click to read more)
A visualisation of the flood plume in Moreton Bay (Image by Mitchell Lyons, UQ)

The increased flow of fresh water and sediments has the potential to damage seagrass and other life in the bay’s ecosystem.

A team from the University of Queensland’s School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management are helping to monitor the flood plume and any ensuing damage using photos from both divers and satellites, as well as wireless underwater sensors.

The project leader, Associate Professor Ron Johnstone, said:

“We have already observed the death of algae and bivalves and the sensors will be able to record accurate and real time measurements of other changes in the marine environment as a result of the floods.

“This information will help us understand how the floods are impacting on life in the bay and what it is that is causing some of the plants and animals to die.”

For more on this project, see the Joint Remote Sensing Research Program and the Smart Environmental Monitoring and Analysis Technologies Project at the University of Queensland.

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