Micro-scale zonation patterns of a salt flat in the Port Curtis Region
reportposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by KM Welch, KM Walton
Salt flats are an understudied feature of a mangrove estuary system, and the relationship between the mangroves and adjacent salt flats is not known. In the Port Curtis region of Queensland, Australia, salt flats are frequently destroyed, typically for commercial practices. The Port Curtis region of Gladstone is a highly industrial area, which is often characterised by effluent discharge. The influence of salt flats on the movement of chemicals and nutrients is also unknown. The goal of this study was to determine if the physical and chemical characteristics of a salt flat could be determined from aerial photographs, and if zones with different types of vegetation had different physical and chemical characteristics. The authors hypothesised that the zones without vegetation would have elevated conductivity, and that there would be a significant difference for all the physical and chemical characteristics between the three types of zones: Mixed vegetation, Algae, and Zones without vegetation. Grain size, porosity, conductivity, and organic carbon appear to be the abiotic factors that are the most differential between the three types of zones. The aerial photographs obtained of the study site were of low resolution, so it is unknown if the physical/chemical characteristics of an area can be determined by looking at such photographs.