Two field trips were made to King Sound, in the dry seasons of 1997 and 1998. King Sound drains an area of 121,315 km², most of which is in the Fitzroy River catchment.
In 1997, two moorings (M1 and M2) were deployed in the upper reaches of King Sound. Attached to each mooring were a Dataflow salinometer, 4 Analite nephelometers, 2 Inter-Ocean S4 current meters and an Aanderaa WLR5 tide gauge. M1 was deployed on 2/10/1997 and recovered on 13/10/1997. M2 was deployed on 3/10/1997 and recovered on 13/10/1997. An Aanderaa WLR5 tide gauge was also bottom mounted near Sunday Island at the mouth of King Sound on 1/10/1997 and recovered on 5/10/97.
During this trip, vertical profiles of temperature, salinity and suspended sediment concentrations were collected at both moorings and at a number of sites along 2 long axis and 1 cross axis transects of the sound using a Seabird CTD equipped with an Analite nephelometer. In addition, CTD casts were made every hour for one tidal cycle (13 hours) at a site approximately 300 m from M2. At many CTD stations samples were also collected using a Niskin bottle, equipped with a microscope slide with a 3mm deep well, for microscopic observations of settling particles (floc).
In 1998, four moorings (A, B, C and D) were deployed in the upper reaches of King Sound. Attached to moorings A, B and D were a Dataflow salinometer, 3 Analite nephelometers and 2 Inter-Ocean S4 current meters. Attached to mooring C were a Dataflow salinometer, 2 Analite nephelometers, 1 Inter-Ocean S4 current meter and an Aanderaa WLR7 tide gauge. All moorings were deployed on 20/9/1998. Moorings A and B were recovered on 27/9/1998 and moorings C and D were recovered on 26/9/98. An Aanderaa WLR5 tide gauge was also bottom mounted near Sunday Island at the mouth of King Sound on 21/9/1998 and recovered on 28/9/98.
During this trip, vertical profiles of temperature, salinity and suspended sediment concentrations were made at each mooring and at the Mouth of Cone Bay and the pearl farm, using a Seabird CTD equipped with an Analite nephelometer. CTD casts were also made at 10 sites along a transect from mooring B to outside the sound. Samples for floc analysis were also collected. In addition, CTD casts were made every hour over a period of 24 hours at site E, midway between moorings A and E.
Three droques were released in Cone Bay on 24/9/98. Two were recovered on the same day and the third was lost.
On both trips, bottom sediment was sampled at all anchor stations and at the mooring sites for particle size analysis. Wind data was collected from the ship's anemometer. A 210 kHz Furono echo sounder was used to map the extent of fluid mud beds.
The technique used for collection of samples for microscopic observations of settling particles (flocs) is described in:
Ayukai T and Wolanski E (1997) Importance of biologically mediated removal of fine sediments from the Fly River plume, Papua New Guinea. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 44: 629-639.
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