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Development of a Parametric Estuarine Model for Gippsland Resource Planning


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Author Hinwood J B and McLean E J


Background The resources of the Gippsland Basin include not only the coal and oil for which it is well known, but also the tourism resource and the quality of life which it offers its residents and visitors. To manage this group of resources requires an understanding and ability to predict the consequences of possible developments. The water of the streams and estuaries as a key component as it is both a resource and the means for transporting wastes from one area to another. To aid in the resource planning process there is a need for models of the estuarine hydraulic processes. This paper describes an appropriate modelling technique. Resource use conflicts may arise from developments in the catchment upstream of the estuarine reach. For example the diversion of water for domestic and industrial use will change the velocity and salinity structure of the downstream estuary. In turn these changes will affect sediment distribution and deposition patterns and may impose stress on the biological communities and ultimately on the fisheries resources and water quality. The manager of an estuarine system may have expertise in ecology, hydraulics or another of the specialist disciplines involved, but commonly will not. The manager will identify needs for resource and development and the broad options required to satisfy them. The manager will use these studies as the basis for his/her selection of the option for execution. Thus a model for’use by the manager of an estuarine system must have the following properties: (i) The model must be sufficiently accurate to throw up all the likely options. (ii) The model must be capable of being run by the manager, interactively, to answer `what if’ questions. This requirement implies a simple code andhardware limited to a personal computer or possibly a desk top work station. (iii) The model must be robust so that unrealistic input oes not generate apparently useful output, and no output is generated for cases where the model is not designed to give results. (iv) The model must be capable of being used as part of a modelling system comprising models of all the geographic and demographic components