Difference between revisions of "Pelican Creek"
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Revision as of 02:00, 3 July 2008
- 1 Subcatchments
- 2 Topography
- 3 Vegetation
- 4 Wetlands
- 5 Water
- 6 Landuse
- 7 Resource Condition Summary
- 8 Maps
- 9 Photos
- 10 Reports
- 11 Data
Smaller Catchments within the Pelican Creek Catchment include:
iTRARC analysis of Riparian Habitat indicates that this subcatchment has undergone a large decrease in riparian condition in the last 30 years. In the 1970s it was in good (B+) condition but had dropped to poor condition (C) by 2004 due to floodplain clearing and an increase in the amount of gullying/scalding. The field survey TRARC data also indicated very poor condition at both sites visited, however additional sites would provide a more comprehensive picture of on-ground riparian condition.
Pelican Creek is a seasonal creek system that contains several permanent waterholes, the limnology of one of which, Donalds Dream Waterhole, was assessed by Loong et al. (2005). The water quality of Pelican Creek is adversely affected by coal mining operations in its upper reaches (Butler 2006). Riparian condition is considered to be reasonable though. Strathmore Creek is naturally dry but runs for many kilometres with seepage from the coal mine tailings dam (pers. obs.), producing an altered flow regime and altered water quality (including high conductivity water and salt stains along the creek). Both creeks have been subject to water quality and aquatic biota monitoring programs commissioned by the mine managers. Other creeks not affected by mining operations appear to be typical of the region.
SedNet Modelling of Water Quality
The following statistics are summarized from the CSIRO report: Improved SedNet Modelling of Grazing Lands in the Burdekin Catchment by Kinsey-Henderson, A., Sherman, B. and Bartley, R. 2007. This report can be accessed from the report section below.
Model results for the Pelican Creek subcatchment are summarized as follows:
- Subcatchment modelled area: 1,452 sq. km.
- Source contributions: Hillslope = 85%; Gully = 8%; Streambank = 7%
- Area of subcatchment with <50% ground cover: 450 sq. km or 31% of subcatchment
- Hillslope sediment supply: 865 kg/ha/yr
- Total suspended sediment (flow weighted) supply: 147 kt/yr
- Total suspended sediment supply (flow weighted; normalized to area): 1,012kg/ha/yr
- Total suspended sediment end-of-subcatchment (flow weighted) yield: 137 kt/yr
- Event Mean Concentration (EMC - flow weighted): 850 mg/L
- Mean Annual Flow: 161,268 ML
Hillslope erosion is identified as the major source of sediment and particulate nutrients affecting water quality within the Pelican Creek sub-catchment (85%). It is estimated that approximately 31% of the subcatchment has poor ground cover (<50%). Total suspended sediment loss from all sources is predicted to be very high (1,012 kg/ha/yr). The event mean concentration of suspended sediment is also predicted to be high (850 mg/L).
Water Quality Monitoring
Limited water quality monitoring in the Pelican Creek catchment does not permit useful conclusions to be drawn.
- Water Quality Monitoring
- Water Quality Monitoring results
- Event-based community water quality monitoring in the Burdekin Dry Tropics Region: 2002-2007. Volume 1
- Event-based community water quality monitoring in the Burdekin Dry Tropics Region: 2002-2007. Volume 2
Environmental Uses and Values
The following summary of environmental uses and values is based on information extracted from the following reports: Social, Economic, Cultural and Environmental Values of Streams and Wetlands in the Burdekin Dry Tropics Region by Greiner, R and Hall, N. 2006 and Burdekin Basin Draft Water Resource Plan by Queensland Dept. of Natural Resources, Mines and Water, 2006, The Greiner and Hall 2006 report may be accessed from the report section below.
An area in the Pelican Creek watershed, above Collinsville, has been identified as containing High Ecological Value (HEV) waters by technical experts and workshops. This area, covering the Sonoma State Forest, is in the north-east part of the subcatchment. The Sonoma State Forest is a large area consisting of rugged rocky outcrops on steep hills. The area is crossed by several tracks and a power line but appears largely intact and in a natural state. The area of remnant forest is contiguous with other natural areas in the Clarke Ranges going north and west into the upper Bogie River subcatchment and east to the rainforests in the upper Broken River. The aquatic ecosystem values of other parts of the subcatchment are considered to be slightly to moderately disturbed as a consequence of the surrounding land use or because of flow modification.
Irrigation of improved pasture dominates (over 80% of irrigation water use) with relatively minor areas of sorghum and horticulture.
Water supply for production of healthy livestock.
Town water for Collinsville supplied from the the Gattonvale Offstream Storage (and the Bowen River Weir).
Scottville open cut coal mine. There are some potential additional demands around Scottville and Collinsville for industrial use of water including those for possible expansions in power generation and for coal mining.
Custodial use of water resources by ? traditional owners.
Principle land uses within the Pelican Creek subcatchment as a proportion of total area:
- Grazing: 96.4%
- Mining: 2.6%
- Conservation & minimal use: 1.2%
- Irrigated horticulture & cropping: Limited irrigated horticulture & cropping water activity use identified.
- Water: Limited water activity use identified.
- Urban & semi urban: Limited urban & semi urban water activity use identified.
Pelican Creek is a relatively small subcatchment where the major land use is grazing on natural pastures.
Results of a Rapid Land Condition Assessment (adopted from Hassett et al. 2000) are presented below. The assessment has been devised to subjectively characterise condition while traversing the BDT region by vehicle. The data are based on a total of 4666 observations across the Burdekin region between 2004 and 2007.
The data were collected to provide independent information on land condition and provide a regional perspective. Resource assessment data are most useful when interpreted with other sources of data e.g. time-series remote sensing, modelling and water quality monitoring.
The estimated condition of the Pelican Creek sub-catchment is proportioned as follows:
- A Condition: 2%
- B Condition: 28%
- C Condition: 52%
- D Condition: 18%
Data from the Pelican Creek sub-catchment is based on 99 observations.
On the basis of the rapid assessment, the Pelican Creek sub-catchment is estimated to have the largest proportion of land in poor (C) condition (52%), followed by fair (B) condition (28%) and very poor (D) condition land (18%). 2% of observed land was in good (A) condition.
Ground Cover in the Pelican Creek sub-catchment is proportioned as follows:
- ( BC) Bare Cover: 2%
- ( LC) Low Cover: 27%
- ( MC) Moderate Cover: 45%
- ( HC) High Cover: 25%
- (VHC) Very High Cover: 2%
Data from the Pelican Creek sub-catchment are based on 64 observations.
On the basis of the rapid assessment (2004-2007), the Pelican Creek sub-catchment is estimated to have the highest proportion of land within the moderate (MC) ground cover category (45%), followed by low (LC) cover (27%) and high (HC) cover (25%) categories. 2% of land was estimated to fall into the very high (VHC) and bare cover (BC) category.
Resource Condition Summary
Pelican Creek is a relatively small subcatchment where the major land use is grazing on natural pastures. Mining is also identified as an important land use (QLUMP). Riparian condition in the subcatchment has declined over the last 30 years due to floodplain clearing and gullying. The catchment was in quite good (B) condition in the 1970s, but by 2004 its condition had declined to poor (C). Pelican Creek itself is a seasonal creek system that contains several permanent waterholes, but the water quality is adversely affected by coal mining operations in its upper reaches. Strathmore Creek, which is naturally dry, is afffected by seepage from a coal mine tailings dam, thus producing an altered flow regime and altered water quality. This system has a greater departure from natural conditions than most other creeks in the area and in the Burdekin rangelands.
Hillslope erosion is identified by models as the major source of sediment and particulate nutrients affecting water quality within the Pelican Creek subcatchment. The rate of soil loss is predicted to be high, while the total soil loss from the subcatchment is also relatively high compared to other basin subcatchments. Land condition is assessed as most being in poor (C) condition, with substantial areas of fair (B) and very poor (D) condition land. This is also reflected in the rapid ground cover assessment (2004-07), while analysis of satelite imagery (reference) shows that ground cover has generally declined since 1999. Furthermore, Strathmore Creek is identified as having a particularly high density of land that is both marginal and vulnerable to 'D' condition.
Water quality in the Pelican Creek subcatchment is predicted by models to be very poor, with high concentrations of sediment at end-of-subcatchment. There are no water quality monitoring data, however, with which to compare the modelled concentrations. On the basis of the land condition and ground cover assessments, verification of modelling should be undertaken as a priority.
Pelican Creek is identified as a priority subcatchment for rehabilitation on the basis of its poor land condition and high vulnerability to 'D' condition, and predicted contribution to the total sediment load within the basin.
Draft Environmental Values
An area in the Pelican Creek watershed, above Collinsville, has been identified as containing High Ecological Value (HEV) waters by technical experts and workshops. This area, covering the Sonoma State Forest, is in the north-east part of the subcatchment. The Sonoma State Forest is a large area consisting of rugged rocky outcrops on steep hills. The area is crossed by several tracks and a power line but appears largely intact and in a natural state. The area of remnant forest is contiguous with other natural areas in the Clarke Ranges going north and west into the upper Bogie River subcatchment and east to the rainforests in the upper Broken River. The aquatic ecosystem values of other parts of the subcatchment are considered to be slightly to moderately disturbed as a consequence of the surrounding land use or because of flow modification. The human use Environmental Values of Broken River subcatchment are understood to include irigation, industry, stock watering, drinking, and the cultural and spiritual values of the ? traditional owners.
Please feel free to download the maps in the following formats:
- Riparian Condition assessment for CCI (2.8 Mb)
- Assessing the Burdekin subcatchments wetland condition (10 Mb)
- Burdekin Water Quality Issues Report (3.6 Mb)
- Monitoring of sediments and nutrients in the Burdekin Dry Tropics region: 2005-06 wet season (4.3 Mb)
- Event based Water Quality Monitoring in the Burdekin Dry Tropics Region: 2004/05 wet season (3.1 Mb)
- A report into the water quality condition of the Burdekin River and surrounds based on the AIMS end-of-catchment sampling program (13.2 Mb)
- Limnological assessment and benchmarking of key sentinel wetlands in the Burdekin catchment
- Improved SedNet Modelling of Grazing Land in the Burdekin Catchment(812Kb)
- Economic, Cultural and Environmental values of streams and wetlands in the Burdekin Dry Tropics region. (23.5Mb)