Abstract

Widespread seagrass dieback in central Torres Strait, Australia has been anecdotally linked to the delivery of vast quantities of terrigenous sediments from New Guinea. The composition and distribution, and sedimentological and geochemical properties, of seabed and suspended sediments in north and central Torres Strait have been determined to investigate this issue. In northern Torres Strait, next to Saibai Island, seabed sediments comprise poorly sorted, muddy, mixed calcareous-siliciclastic sand. Seabed sediments in this region are dominated by aluminosilicate (terrigenous) phases. In central Torres Strait, next to Turnagain Island, seabed and suspended sediments comprise moderately sorted coarse to medium carbonate sand. Seabed sediments in this region are dominated by carbonate and magnesium (marine) phases. Mean Cu/Al ratios for seabed sediments next to Saibai Island are 0.01, and are similar to those found in New Guinea south coastal sediments by previous workers. Mean Cu/Al ratios for seabed sediments next to Turnagain Island are 0.02, indicating an enrichment of Cu in central Torres Strait. This enrichment comes from an exogenous biogenic source, principally from foraminifers and molluscs. We could not uniquely trace terrigenous sediments from New Guinea to Turnagain Island in central Torres Strait. If sediments are a factor in the widespread seagrass dieback in central Torres Strait, then our data suggest these are marine-derived sediments sourced from resuspension and advection from the immediate shelf areas and not terrigenous sediments dispersed from New Guinea rivers. This finding is consistent with outputs from recently developed regional hydrodynamic and sediment transport models.
Google map showing geographic bounding box with values North bound -8.0 East bound 146.0 West bound 138.0 South bound -12.0
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Product Type/Sub Type

dataset - External Publication - Scientific Journal Paper

Constraints

license
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence

IP Owner

Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia)

Author(s)

Date (publication)

2008

Product Type

dataset

Topic Category

geoscientificInformation

Keywords

External Publication
Scientific Journal Paper
marine
sedimentology
geochemistry
Earth Sciences

Resource Language

English

Resource Character Set

utf8

Resource Security Classification

unclassified

Geographic Extent

North bound
-8.0
East bound
146.0
West bound
138.0
South bound
-12.0

Lineage

Unknown

Digital Transfer Options

onLine

Distributor

Role
distributor
Organisation Name
Geoscience Australia
City
Canberra
Administrative Area
ACT
Postal Code
2601
Country
Australia
Email Address

Metadata File Identifier

a05f7892-ed82-7506-e044-00144fdd4fa6

Metadata Standard Name

ANZLIC Metadata Profile: An Australian/New Zealand Profile of AS/NZS ISO 19115:2005, Geographic information - Metadata

Metadata Standard Version

1.1

Metadata Date Stamp

2009-08-28

METADATA SECURITY CLASSIFICATION

unclassified

Metadata Contact

Role
pointOfContact
Organisation Name
Geoscience Australia
City
Canberra
Administrative Area
ACT
Postal Code
2601
Country
Australia
Email Address
Related Links
For information on acquiring this product,
please contact the Geoscience Australia Sales Centre via:

fax:
+61 2 6249 9960; or
phone:
1800 800 173 (within Australia);
 
+61 2 6249 9966 (outside Australia).

Please note that support hours are 9 am to 5 pm weekdays