WAMSI 2 - KMRP Project 2.2.9: Historical Water Quality using sediment records

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About this Collection

WAMSI 2 - KMRP Project 2.2.9: Historical Water Quality using sediment records

The remote Kimberley coast of north-western Australia is one of the few marine environments domains on earth largely unaffected by human use. However, the region is undergoing increasing economic importance as a destination for tourism and significant coastal developments associated with oil and gas exploration. The objective of the project was to ... more

Environmental Impact Assessment Environmental Monitoring Geochemistry not elsewhere classified Natural Resource Management Sedimentology

01 Jul 2013

01 Mar 2017

John Keesing

marine sediment water quality cores historical reconstruction Kimberley biogeochemical proxies King George River Cygnet Bay Roebuck Bay

Sediment cores taken at each site (Koolama Bay [King George River], Cygnet Bay and Roebuck Bay) were obtained using a polycarbonate sleeve 6 cm in diameter within a 1.5m long steel casing. At each site, three or four replicate sediment cores with a length of approximately 1.0 – 1.4 meters each were collected. The cores were then frozen on board the ship in a vertical position and were later thawed as they stood vertically and were then sectioned into sub-samples at 1 cm intervals, weighed and freeze dried before being reweighed and then stored in a freezer at -20oC before being analysed. Parameters measured: • 210Pb and 137Cs isotopes – age of core, integrity of age structure in sediment; • 15N isotope – a proxy for nitrogen source – anthropogenic or natural; • 13C isotope – proxy for carbon source – land or marine derived carbon; • Carbon/Nitrogen ratio – can also be used to infer whether primary carbon source is marine or terrestrial; • Sedimentation rate and grain size shows the variation of sedimentary environment (e.g. river input, sediment texture, other factors governing deposition and preservation); • Total Organic Carbon (TOC) and Total Nitrogen (TN) indicate levels of productivity and deposition of organic matter; • Biosilicate indicates siliceous phytoplankton deposits (e.g. diatoms, silicoflagellates), enhanced productivity; • Biomarkers – sterols can be used as proxies for dinoflagellates (dinosterol), diatoms (brassicasterol) haptophytes (alkenones); TEX86 index for sea temperature; and long chain n-alkanes (C27+C29+C31) for terrestrial influence. • Elemental carbon (or black carbon) – indicators of biomass burning (e.g. from bushfires) or hydrocarbon burning (fossil fuels). For Full details, see KMRP 2.2.7 Final Report. Rainfall data was obtained from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology website ( Stream flow data was obtained from the Western Australian Department of Water website ( Historical bushfire data was obtained from the Western Australian Department of Parks and Wildlife.

Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI) East China Normal University, Shanghai, China Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, Chinese Academy of Science, China CNRS-Universite de La Rochelle, France Centre for Marine Ecosystems Research, Edith Cowan University, Australia Tongji University, Shanghai, China

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence

CSIRO (Australia), Natural Science Foundation of Shandong Province (China), The Natural Science Foundation of China (China), The Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (China), Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI) (Australia)

Keesing, John; Liu, Dongyan; Yuan, Zineng; Peng, Yajun; Wang, Yujue; Richard, Pierre; Masque, Pere; Che, Yingjun; Fang, Yin (2017): WAMSI 2 - KMRP Project 2.2.9: Historical Water Quality using sediment records. v3. CSIRO. Data Collection.

All Rights (including copyright) CSIRO 2017.

The metadata and files (if any) are available to the public.

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Location Details

13°42′0″ S

16°41′60″ S

127°30′0″ E

123°0′0″ E


More about this Collection

Dr. John Keesing

Senoir Research Scientist





About this Project

WAMSI - KIM 2.2.9 Sediment Record

Historical reconstructions from the sediment record of water column variability.

John Keesing

Sediment coring for water quality assessment

Palaeoecological approaches to reconstruct a chronology of change in coastal water quality over the last approximately 100 years.


1.5 m x 6cm internal diameter cCorer. Steel outer casing, inner casing made of polycarbonate. Pushed into sediment by divers or using vibrocorer lowered from ships winch.

John Keesing

Dongyan Liu

Zineng Yuan

Yajun Peng

Yujue Wang

Pierre Richard

Pere Masque

Yingjun Che

Yin Fang

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