Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


High-Tech monitoring stations set for Kaipara Harbour

High-Tech monitoring stations set for Kaipara Harbour

Scientists are installing state-of-the-art equipment in the Kaipara Harbour next month that will monitor water quality and help improve their ability to predict water clarity.

Researchers from NIWA, Auckland Council and the Northland Regional Council will establish three Estuarine Monitoring Systems (EMS) at Tikonui Wharf near Ruawai, and at two sites further south in the Hoteo system.

The Tikonui station will measure the water quality of the Wairoa system - the largest freshwater inflow to the harbour and one known from previous NIWA studies to be the dominant source of fine sediment to the harbour.

The other two stations are instrumented buoys located in the tidal reach of the Hoteo River and adjacent harbour at Orongo Point.

The main focus of the stations is to measure water quality in the harbour and tidal creek waters, particularly water clarity which is affected by fine sediment, but also by organic matter and phytoplankton.

Sedimentation in many New Zealand estuaries has increased 10-fold over the last 150 years largely due to land clearance and agricultural conversion. There is increasing appreciation that these fine sediments have major ecological impacts, including preventing light from reaching important ecosystems (such as seagrass). This in turn reduces opportunities for some fish species and sea birds to feed.

The project, which is funded by central and regional government, will also see continuous measurement of water temperature, salinity, tidal height, water currents and waves. The stations will operate continuously, powered by solar panels, and near real-time data will be retrieved remotely.

The data will be used by council staff and NIWA researchers and made publicly available on Auckland Council’s website. It can then be accessed by harbour users to check weather conditions before they venture out.

Andrew Swales, NIWA’s coastal scientist co-ordinating the project, said the new stations were important tools in helping resource managers and researchers better understand the processes affecting the Kaipara Harbour.

“These stations comprise state-of-the-art measuring instruments that will give us the most accurate information possible.”

Auckland Council senior marine scientist Dr Jarrod Walker said this research programme will provide important data on big weather events which contribute large loads of sediment to the harbour. Understanding these types of processes are critical in determining where the main sources of sediment are coming from and what can be done to reduce them.

NIWA principal scientist and project leader, Dr Rob Davies-Colley, said that the stations were a crucial part of studies into fine sediment and other pollutants that affect Kaipara Harbour.

The research is also expected to have national significance. “Diffuse pollutants such as fine sediment, nutrients and microbes are a pervasive problem in many of New Zealand’s waters,” says Dr Davies-Colley. “Our estuaries and other coastal waters are often particularly degraded by these land-derived pollutants.”

A public information evening about the monitoring stations is to be held on Wednesday, 19 March from 7pm at the Mangakura Boat Club, SH16, Hoteo.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

What Winter? Temperature Records Set For June 20-22

The days around the winter soltice produced a number of notably warm tempertaures. More>>

Conservation Deal: New Kākāpō Recovery Partnership Welcomed

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says the new kakapo recovery partnership between DOC and Meridian Energy is great news for efforts to save one of New Zealand’s most beloved birds. More>>

ALSO:

Tech Sector Report: Joyce Warns Asian Tech Investors View NZ As Hobbits And Food

Speaking in Wellington at the launch of a report showcasing the value of the technology sector to the New Zealand economy, Joyce said more had to be done to tell the country's technology stories overseas. More>>

ALSO:

Mediaglommeration: APN Gets OIO Approval For Demerger Plan

APN News & Media has received Overseas Investment Office approval for its plan to split out its NZME unit ahead of a potential merger with rival Fairfax Media's New Zealand operations. More>>

New Paper: Ninety-Day Trial Period Has No Impact On Firms' Hiring

The introduction of a 90-day trial period has had no impact on hiring by New Zealand companies although they are now in widespread use, according to researchers at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections: Serco Exits Equity Stake, Remains As Operator

Serco has sold its equity stake in the company that holds the contract to design, build and run Wiri Prison in South Auckland but continues as sub-contractor to operate the facility. More>>

GDP: NZ Economy Grows Faster-Than-Forecast 0.7%

New Zealand's economy grew at a faster pace than expected in the first quarter of 2016 as construction expanded at the quickest rate in two years. The kiwi dollar jumped after the data was released. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news