NESP TWQ Round 5 - Project 5.14 – Identifying the water quality and ecosystem health threats to the Torres Strait from the Fly River runoff

Region map

Runoff from the Fly River in Papua New Guinea (PNG) influences water quality conditions in the Torres Strait region. Recent work (NESP Project 2.2.1 and 2.2.2) has clearly demonstrated that this influence is largely constrained to the northern Torres Strait, as far east as Bramble Cay and at least as far west as Boigu Island. The southern extent of influence is considered to be limited to within 40-50km of the PNG coast in the western areas, and around 80km in the eastern areas. The intensity of this influence, and the potential ecological impacts, are still not well understood. Trace metal concentrations are higher in the northern Torres Strait around Boigu and Saibai, however it is not clear whether this enrichment is natural or the result of mine derived inputs of trace metals. Further investigation is required to understand the prevalence and frequency of the extension of the Fly River plume into the northern Torres Strait, and further characterisation of plume constituents, particularly sediment and trace metals in comparison to previous results including the Torres Strait Baseline Study.

NESP TWQ Project Page



30 September 2021

This dataset contains processed satellite imageries of the Golf of Papua - Torres Strait (GP-TS) region. It includes:
- 12-year (mid 2008-mid 2019) of daily MODIS water type images (Wet season colour scale), and summaries (seasonal, annual, long term, difference composite maps)
- 1 year (2019) of weekly Sentinel-3 water type images (Forel-Ule colour scale)

** This dataset is currently under embargo until 31/01/2022.

1 June 2021

The data set comprises 4 spreadsheets containing trace metal concentrations measured in waters benthic, suspended sediments and seagrasses collected across the Torres Strait during the NESP TWQ 5.14 project. Details of the sampling locations (including coordinates), general chemical and physical parameters and laboratory quality control data are provided.

29 March 2021

Data is from a series of instruments, including temperature loggers, weather stations and turbidity / salinity loggers deployed at four sites in the Torres Strait (Thursday Island – logger + weather station), Masig Island (logger + weather station), Bramble Cay (Maizab Kaur – logger + weather station) and the northern Warrior Reefs (turbidity and salinity) as part of a larger project to investigate the impact of Fly River discharge waters on the Torres Strait.