CSIRO Publishing blank image blank image blank image blank imageBooksblank image blank image blank image blank imageJournalsblank image blank image blank image blank imageAbout Usblank image blank image blank image blank imageShopping Cartblank image blank image blank image You are here: Journals > Marine & Freshwater Research   
Marine & Freshwater Research
Journal Banner
  Advances in the Aquatic Sciences
 
blank image Search
 
blank image blank image
blank image
 
  Advanced Search
   

Journal Home
About the Journal
Editorial Board
Contacts
Content
Online Early
Current Issue
Just Accepted
All Issues
Special Issues
Research Fronts
Sample Issue
For Authors
General Information
Instructions to Authors
Submit Article
Open Access
For Referees
General Information
Review an Article
Referee Guidelines
Annual Referee Index
For Subscribers
Subscription Prices
Customer Service
Print Publication Dates

blue arrow e-Alerts
blank image
Subscribe to our Email Alert or RSS feeds for the latest journal papers.

red arrow Connect with us
blank image
facebook twitter youtube

 

Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 65(12)

Persistence of in-stream waterholes in ephemeral rivers of tropical northern Australia and potential impacts of climate change

David McJannet A F , Steve Marvanek B , Anne Kinsey-Henderson C , Cuan Petheram D and Jim Wallace E

A CSIRO Land and Water, GPO Box 2583, Brisbane, Qld 4001, Australia.
B CSIRO Land and Water, Waite Rd – Gate 4, Glen Osmond, SA 5056, Australia.
C CSIRO Land and Water, ATSIP, Building 145, James Cook Drive, James Cook University, Douglas Campus, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia.
D CSIRO Land and Water, Clunies Ross Street, Acton, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.
E TropWATER, Centre for Tropical Water & Aquatic Ecosystem Research, ATSIP, Building 145, James Cook Drive, James Cook University, Douglas Campus, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia.
F Corresponding author. Email: David.McJannet@csiro.au

Marine and Freshwater Research 65(12) 1131-1144 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/MF14035
Submitted: 7 February 2014  Accepted: 11 April 2014   Published: 10 October 2014


 
PDF (1.6 MB) $25
 Export Citation
 Print
  
Abstract

Many northern Australian rivers have limited or non-existent dry season flow and rivers tend to dry to a series of pools, or waterholes, which become particularly important refugial habitat for aquatic biota during the periods between streamflow events. The present study developed techniques to identify in-stream waterholes across large and inaccessible areas of the Flinders and Gilbert catchments using Landsat imagery. Application of this technique to 400 scenes between 2003 and 2010 facilitated the identification of key waterhole refugia that are likely to persist during all years. Relationships for predicting total waterhole area from streamflow characteristics were produced for four river reaches. Using these relationships and streamflow predictions based upon climate data scaled using 15 global climate models, the potential impacts of future climate on waterhole persistence was assessed. Reductions in waterhole area of more than 60% were modelled in some years under drier scenarios and this represents a large reduction in available habitat for areas that already have limited in-stream refugia. Conversely, under wetter future climates the total area of waterholes increased. The approach developed here has applicability in other catchments, both in Australia and globally, and for assessing the impacts of changed flow resulting from water resource development.

Additional keywords: Landsat, northern Australia, refugia.


References

Armston, J., Danaher, T., Goulevitch, B., and Byrne, M. (2002). Geometric correction of Landsat MSS, TM, and ETM+ imagery for mapping of woody vegetation cover and change detection in Queensland. In ‘Proceedings of the 11th Australasian Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Conference’, Casual Publications, Adelaide, pp. 1–23.

Arthington, A. H., Olden, J. D., Balcombe, S. R., and Thoms, M. C. (2010). Multi-scale environmental factors explain fish losses and refuge quality in drying waterholes of Cooper Creek, an Australian arid-zone river. Marine and Freshwater Research 61, 842–856.
CrossRef | CAS |

Barber, M. (2013). Indigenous water values, rights and interests in the Flinders and Gilbert catchments. A technical report to the Australian Government from the CSIRO Flinders and Gilbert Agricultural Resource Assessment, part of the North Queensland Irrigated Agriculture Strategy. CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country and Sustainable Agriculture flagships, Canberra, Australia.

Bartley, R., and Rutherfurd, I. (2005). Re-evaluation of the wave model as a tool for quantifying the geomorphic recovery potential of streams disturbed by sediment slugs. Geomorphology 64, 221–242.
CrossRef |

Bartley, R., Thomas, M. F., Clifford, D., Phillip, S., Brough, D., Harms, D., Willis, R., Gregory, L., Glover, M., Moodie, K. B., Sugars, M., Eyre, L., Smith, D., Hicks, W., and Petheram, C. (2013). Land suitability: technical methods. A technical report to the Australian Government for the Flinders and Gilbert Agricultural Resource Assessment (FGARA) project. CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country and Sustainable Agriculture flagships, Canberra, Australia.

Blanch, S. (2008). Steps to a sustainable Northern Australia. Ecological Management & Restoration 9, 110–115.
CrossRef |

Bunn, S. E., Thoms, M. C., Hamilton, S. K., and Capon, S. J. (2006). Flow variability in dryland rivers: boom, bust and the bits in between. River Research and Applications 22, 179–186.
CrossRef |

Chiew, F. H. S., Teng, J., Vaze, J., and Kirono, D. G. C. (2009). Influence of global climate model selection on runoff impact assessment. Journal of Hydrology 379, 172–180.
CrossRef |

CSIRO (2009). Water in the Gulf of Carpentaria Drainage Division. A report to the Australian Government from the CSIRO Northern Australia Sustainable Yields Project. CSIRO Water for Healthy Country Flagship, Canberra, Australia.

CSIRO (2012). Proposed project methods. A report to the Australian Government from the CSIRO Flinders and Gilbert Agricultural Resource Assessment, part of the North Queensland Irrigated Agriculture Strategy. CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country and Sustainable Agriculture flagships, Canberra, Australia.

Danaher, T., Wu, X., and Campbell, N. (2001). Bi-directional reflectance distribution function approaches to radiometric calibration of Landsat ETM+ imagery. In ‘Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium, IGARSS’01. IEEE 2001 International’. pp. 2654–2657. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, NJ.

Davis, J. A., and Finlayson, B. (2000). Sand slugs and stream degradation: the case of the Granite Creeks, north-east Victoria. No. Technical Report 7/2000, Cooperative Research Centre for Freshwater Ecology Canberra.

Davis, L., Thoms, M. C., Fellows, C., and Bunn, S. (2002). Physical and ecological associations in dryland refugia: waterholes of the Cooper Creek, Australia. International Association of Hydrological Sciences, Publication (276), 77–84.

De Vries, C., Danaher, T., Denham, R., Scarth, P., and Phinn, S. (2007). An operational radiometric calibration procedure for the Landsat sensors based on pseudo-invariant target sites. Remote Sensing of Environment 107, 414–429.
CrossRef |

Faggotter, S. J., Webster, I. T., and Burford, M. A. (2013). Factors controlling primary productivity in a wet–dry tropical river. Marine and Freshwater Research 64, 585–598.
CrossRef |

Fellows, C. S., Bunn, S. E., Sheldon, F., and Beard, N. J. (2009). Benthic metabolism in two turbid dryland rivers. Freshwater Biology 54, 236–253.
CrossRef |

Goodwin, N. R., Collett, L. J., Denham, R. J., Flood, N., and Tindall, D. (2013). Cloud and cloud shadow screening across Queensland, Australia: An automated method for Landsat TM/ETM+ time series. Remote Sensing of Environment 134, 50–65.
CrossRef |

Hamilton, S. K., Bunn, S. E., Thoms, M. C., and Marshall, J. C. (2005). Persistence of Aquatic Refugia between Flow Pulses in a Dryland River System (Cooper Creek, Australia). Limnology and Oceanography 50, 743–754.
CrossRef | CAS |

Hogan, A., and Valance, T. (2005). Rapid assessment of fish biodiversity in southern Gulf of Carpentaria catchments. No. Project report number QI04074Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Walkamin.

Jeffrey, S. J., Carter, J. O., Moodie, K. B., and Beswick, A. R. (2001). Using spatial interpolation to construct a comprehensive archive of Australian climate data. Environmental Modelling and Software with Environment Data News 16, 309–330.
CrossRef |

Jolly, I., Taylor, A., Rassam, D., Knight, J., Davies, P., and Harrington, G. (2013). Surface water – groundwater connectivity. A technical report to the Australian Government from the CSIRO Flinders and Gilbert Agricultural Resource Assessment, part of the North Queensland Irrigated Agriculture Strategy. CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country and Sustainable Agriculture flagships, Canberra, Australia.

Knighton, A. D., and Nanson, G. C. (1994). Waterholes and their significance in the anastomosing channel system of Cooper Creek, Australia. Geomorphology 9, 311–324.
CrossRef |

Knighton, A. D., and Nanson, G. C. (2000). Waterhole form and process in the anastomosing channel system of Cooper Creek, Australia. Geomorphology 35, 101–117.
CrossRef |

Leigh, C., and Sheldon, F. (2008). Hydrological changes and ecological impacts associated with water resource development in large floodplain rivers in the Australian tropics. River Research and Applications 24, 1251–1270.
CrossRef |

Lerat, J., Egan, C., Kim, S., Gooda, M., Loy, A., Shao, Q., and Petheram, C. (2013). Calibration of river models for the Flinders and Gilbert catchments. A technical report to the Australian Government from the CSIRO Flinders and Gilbert Agricultural Resource Assessment, part of the North Queensland Irrigated Agriculture Strategy. CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country and Sustainable Agriculture flagships, Canberra, Australia.

Li, L. T., Donohue, R. J., McVicar, T. R., Van Niel, T. G., Ten, J., Potter, N. J., Smith, I. N., Kirono, D. G. C., Bathols, J. M., Cai, W., Marvanek, S. P., Gallant, S. N., Chiew, F. H. S., and Frost, A. J. (2009). Climate data and their characterisation for hydrological scenario modelling across northern Australia. A report to the Australian Government from the CSIRO Northern Australia Sustainable Yields Project. CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country Flagship, Canberra, Australia.

Lymburner, L., and Burrows, D. (2008). A Landsat TM Inventory of Waterbody Permanence and Clarity in the Mitchell and Gilbert catchments, north Queensland. Report No 08/16, Australian Centre Tropical Freshwater Research, Townsville.

Lymburner, L., and Burrows, D. (2009). A Landsat TM Inventory of Waterbody Permanence and Clarity in Catchments of the Southern Gulf of Carpentaria, North Queensland. Report No 09/10, Australian Centre Tropical Freshwater Research, Townsville.

Ma, Y., Huang, H. Q., Nanson, G. C., Li, Y., and Yao, W. (2012). Channel adjustments in response to the operation of large dams: The upper reach of the lower Yellow River. Geomorphology 147–148, 35–48.
CrossRef |

Muir, J., and Danaher, T. (2008). Mapping waterbody extent in Queensland using timeseries analysis of Landsat imagery. 2008, Proceedings of the 14th Australasian Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Conference, Darwin, Australia.

Petheram, C., and Yang, A. (2013). Climatic data and their characterisation for hydrological and agricultural scenario modelling across the Flinders and Gilbert catchments. A technical report to the Australian Government from the CSIRO Flinders and Gilbert Agricultural Resource Assessment, part of the North Queensland Irrigated Agriculture Strategy. CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country and Sustainable Agriculture flagships, Canberra, Australia.

Petheram, C., McMahon, T. A., and Peel, M. C. (2008). Flow characteristics of rivers in northern Australia: Implications for development. Journal of Hydrology 357, 93–111.
CrossRef |

Petheram, C., Rustomji, P., McVicar, T. R., Cai, W., Chiew, F. H. S., Vleeshouwer, J., Van Niel, T. G., Li, L., Cresswell, R. G., Donohue, R. J., Teng, J., and Perraud, J.-M. (2012). Estimating the Impact of Projected Climate Change on Runoff across the Tropical Savannas and Semiarid Rangelands of Northern Australia. Journal of Hydrometeorology 13, 483–503.
CrossRef |

Petheram, C., Watson, I., and Stone, P. (2013a). Agricultural resource assessment for the Flinders catchment. A report to the Australian Government from the CSIRO Flinders and Gilbert Agricultural Resource Assessment, part of the North Queensland Irrigated Agriculture Strategy. CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country and Sustainable Agriculture flagships, Canberra, Australia.

Petheram, C., Watson, I., and Stone, P. (2013b). Agricultural resource assessment for the Gilbert catchment. A report to the Australian Government from the CSIRO Flinders and Gilbert Agricultural Resource Assessment, part of the North Queensland Irrigated Agriculture Strategy. CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country and Sustainable Agriculture flagships, Canberra, Australia.

Pettit, N. E., Jardine, T. D., Hamilton, S. K., Sinnamon, V., Valdez, D., Davies, P. M., Douglas, M. M., and Bunn, S. E. (2012). Seasonal changes in water quality and macrophytes and the impact of cattle on tropical floodplain waterholes. Marine and Freshwater Research 63, 788–800.
CrossRef |

Rind, D. (2008). The oonsequences of not knowing low- and high-latitude climate sensitivity. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 89, 855–864.
CrossRef |

Sheldon, F., Bunn, S. E., Hughes, J. M., Arthington, A. H., Balcombe, S. R., and Fellows, C. S. (2010). Ecological roles and threats to aquatic refugia in arid landscapes: dryland river waterholes. Marine and Freshwater Research 61, 885–895.
CrossRef | CAS |

Waltham, N., Burrows, D., Butler, B., Wallace, J., Thomas, C., James, C., and Brodie, J. (2013). Waterhole ecology in the Flinders and Gilbert catchments. A technical report to the Australian Government from the CSIRO Flinders and Gilbert Agricultural Resource Assessment, part of the North Queensland Irrigated Agriculture Strategy. CSIRO Water for a Healthy Country and Sustainable Agriculture flagships, Canberra, Australia.

Ward, D. P., Hamilton, S. K., Jardine, T. D., Pettit, N. E., Tews, E. K., Olley, J. M., and Bunn, S. E. (2013). Assessing the seasonal dynamics of inundation, turbidity, and aquatic vegetation in the Australian wet–dry tropics using optical remote sensing. Ecohydrology 6, 312–323.
CrossRef |

Zhu, Z., and Woodcock, C. E. (2012). Object-based cloud and cloud shadow detection in Landsat imagery. Remote Sensing of Environment 118, 83–94.
CrossRef |


   
Subscriber Login
Username:
Password:  

 
    
Legal & Privacy | Contact Us | Help

CSIRO

© CSIRO 1996-2014