Estuarine dynamics

The foreshores of estuaries are ever changing as water levels control the dynamic processes of erosion, sedimentation and colonisation by vegetation. Bank erosion, (Stokes Inlet, September 2009) in one location, due to high water levels and strong wave action, has built a nearby sand spit. Young Saltwater Paperbark trees (Melaleuca cuticularis) have successfully colonised the new ‘dune’ edge while old dead paperbark trees can be seen in the developing ‘inter-dune wetland’.

 

A dry Bremer River

 

 

The rivers of the eastern south coast of Western Australia do not flow all year round and the river pools often require a large rainfall event in the upper catchment to refill them. The left photo was taken in May 2006 and the right hand photo on 25 June 2011. Water salinity can increase dramatically through evapo-concentration. The aquatic fauna of the region is well adapted to these variable salinity conditions.