Aerial survey to study sediment behaviour at Queensland ports
26 May 2018
Dr Paul Erftemeijer from DAMCO Consulting recently carried out an aerial survey of coastal areas around Weipa (Northern Queensland). The two-hour flight was part of a new project on sustainable sediment management at the Ports of Weipa and Amrun for the North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation. This project, which is carried out in collaboration with Dr Andrew Symonds from Ports and Coastal Solutions Pty Ltd, aims to find long-term solutions that will minimise sediment accumulation in these ports and hence the need for dredging.
The aerial survey offered an ideal opportunity to observe coastal landforms, shoreline morphology, sediment behaviour and turbidity patterns in areas around Weipa and Amrun. Having conducted many aerial surveys before, Paul was in his element, planning and tracking the flight path, speed and altitude during the flight and documenting observations. Aerial photography and video recordings made during the flight will assist in further analysis of processes, data and information to better understand and predict sediment transport processes around the two ports.
Although not the focus of their survey, Paul and Andrew were excited to have spotted several crocodiles, sea turtles and a foraging dugong, illustrating both the biodiversity value of this region and the inherent safety risks of field work in this part of the world.