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A multifaceted approach for determining sediment provenance to coastal shipping channels

journal contribution
posted on 30.01.2020, 00:00 by Emma JacksonEmma Jackson, Nathanael Brooks-EnglishNathanael Brooks-English, Andrew IrvingAndrew Irving, AM Symonds, G Dwane, Owen NevinOwen Nevin, DT Maher
Maintenance dredging for shipping channels is required to maintain safe and efficient navigational channels and berths in ports around the world. Sediment that refills dredged channels can enter ports via alluvial transport of eroded materials from upstream and adjacent catchments, from marine transport due to tidal currents and wind driven currents and from longshore drift. Identifying the provenance of sediment infilling navigational channels allows port operators to mitigate and manage sediment transport, potentially reducing dredging requirements and costs. Further, understanding sediment sources can inform options for beneficial reuse or disposal of dredged sediments. A multi-faceted approach was used to assess whether sediment provenance in the Port of Gladstone could be characterized. A combination of particle size analysis, rare earth element composition, carbon stable isotope ratios, strontium isotopes, and beryllium-7 radioisotopes was employed. Samples were collected at accumulation locations within the navigational channel. Potential sediment sources were sampled from sites of longshore drift to the south of the Port of Gladstone, and intertidal sand and mud representative of transport from currents. Fluvial sediment samples were collected during dry and wet season conditions and from the three main local catchments. Potential source sediment samples yielded identifiable differences with respect to rare earth elements, while beryllium-7 isotope analysis indicated recent deposition of sediments from mudflats or catchment within the channels. The approach used here provided insights into the source of recently deposited sediments to the dredged channels, enabling managers to make informed decisions on mitigation and management strategies.

Funding

Category 3 - Industry and Other Research Income

History

Volume

7

Issue

12

Start Page

1

End Page

18

Number of Pages

18

eISSN

2077-1312

Publisher

MDPI AG, Switzerland

Additional Rights

CC BY 4.0

Language

en

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

Yes

Acceptance Date

27/11/2019

External Author Affiliations

Southern Cross University; Port and Coastal Solutions Pty Ltd., Australia;

Author Research Institute

Coastal Marine Ecosystems Research Centre (CMERC)

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

Journal of Marine Science and Engineering