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Wallum Freshwater Biogeographic Province

Wallum Freshwater Biogeographic Province – Climate

Perennial streams

Wet season (Jan-Mar) Average temperature (20°) Temperature varies along a NE-SW gradient Evaporation exceeds rainfall Humic stained water Phosphorus limiting water Nitrogen limiting water Undercut banks present Low turbidity Acidic water Low water temperature High ratio of sodium and chloride Low relief ratio Acidic soils Nitrogen limiting soils Phosphorus limiting soils Large woody debris cover (low) Infiltration exceeds rainfall Groundwater fed system Emergent macrophyte growth forms dominant Sand Cemented "coffee rock" Perched aquifer Regional aquifer Trees, Shrubs, Grasses, Sedges and reeds Trees, Shrubs, Grasses, Sedges and reeds

Chain-of-pond streams

Wet season (Jan-Mar) Average temperature (20°) Temperature varies along a NE-SW gradient Low relief ratio Evaporation exceeds rainfall Humic stained water Hydrologically connected Hydrologically connected Hydrologically disconnected Hydrologically disconnected Phosphorus limiting water Nitrogen limiting water Acidic water High ratio of sodium and chloride Low water temperature Emergent macrophyte growth forms dominant Low turbidity Below ground flow Large woody debris cover (low) Infiltration exceeds rainfall Acidic soils Nitrogen limiting soils Phosphorus limiting soils Sand Grasses Trees, Shrubs, Grasses, Sedges and reeds

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Wallum is characterised by a sub-tropical climate, influenced by its coastal position in the region where overlap between temperate and tropical weather systems occurs[6][7][2].

Rainfall

Annual mean precipitation in the FBP is high at 1508 mm per year, making it comparable with the wet FBPs in the north of Queensland. Dominant rainfall is received during the summer months from January to March; however, a small but significant amount is also received during the winter season[7][1]. While consistent precipitation in the region is largely the result of slow-moving and widespread cloud systems, storms also contribute to annual rainfall[1]. The range of mean annual precipitation (minimum to maximum) is relatively small, indicating that rainfall is consistent across the region[4][1]. Wallum has the highest value for mean driest quarter in Queensland at 177 mm, largely a consequence of having a higher minimum value than the other regions. This indicates that moisture availability in this region is comparatively consistent. Mean rainfall erosivity is moderate at 5694 MJ mm ha-1 hr-1 yr-1, with little difference between minimum and maximum values. In comparison with other regions however, high intensity rainfall events, such as summer storms, are likely to have less erosive effect on the FBPs sandy soils.

 

 

 

Mean

SE

Minimum

Maximum

Annual mean precipitation (mm)

1508

0.5

1194

1999

Driest quarter precipitation (mm)

177

0.1

132

233

Rainfall erosivity (MJ mm ha-1 hr-1 yr-1)

5694

5.1

3552

9782

 

Temperature

Wallum’s mean annual temperature is moderate at 20 °C and is the coolest of the state's coastal regions. Temperature extremes in the region are comparatively mild[1], with a slight gradient of warmer temperatures to the north. The highest weekly mean maximum temperature was consistent across the region, and the lowest mean value in the state. In comparison, the lowest weekly mean minimum temperature was moderate, displaying a slight north-south gradient, with warmer temperatures to the north. The ratio of hottest weekly maximum to coldest weekly minimum indicates only a moderate seasonality in the region, with greater temperature ranges observed further inland.

 

 

 

Mean

SE

Minimum

Maximum

Mean annual temperature (°C)

20

0.0

17

22

Highest weekly mean maximum temperature (°C)

28

0.6

25

30

Lowest weekly mean minimum temperature (°C)

9

0.0

7

14

Ratio hottest weekly maximum to coldest weekly minimum

3.1

0.0

2.0

4.1

 

 

Water balance

Annual mean run-off for the region is exceptionally low at 3 mm, displaying a slight north-south gradient, with greater run-off in the southern regions of the FBP. While precipitation largely exceeds evaporation for most of the year[7][6], the dominance of sandy soils in the region results in high infiltration capacity, reducing the run-off associated with rainfall events[5][7][3].

 

 

 

Mean

SE

Minimum

Maximum

Annual mean run-off (mm)

3

0.0

1

8

 

 


References

  1. ^ a b c d Coaldrake, JE (1961), 'The ecosystem of the Coastal Lowlands ("Wallum") of Southern Queensland', CSIRO Bulletin, vol. 283, CSIRO.
  2. ^ Hadwen, WL, Arthington, AH & Mosisch, TD (2003), 'The impact of tourism on dune lakes on Fraser Island, Australia', Lakes & Reservoirs: Research and Management, vol. 8, pp. 12-26, Wiley.
  3. ^ Laycock, JW (1975), 'North Stradbroke Island hydrogeological report', GSQ Report, vol. 88, Geological Survey of Queensland.
  4. ^ Lieper, G, Glazebrook, J, Cox, D & Rathie, K (2008), Mangroves to mountains: A field guide to the native plants of south-east Queensland, Society for Growing Australian Plants (Queensland Region) Inc., Browns Plains, Queensland.
  5. ^ Marshall, J, McGregor, G & Negus, P (2006), Assessment of North Stradbroke Island groundwater dependent ecosystems: Potential responses to increases in groundwater extraction, Department of Natural Resources and Water, Queensland Government.
  6. ^ a b Thompson, CH (1992), 'Genesis of podzols on coastal dunes in southern Queensland: I. Field relationships and profile morphology', Australian Journal of Soil Research, vol. 30, pp. 593-613, CSIRO.
  7. ^ a b c d Walker, J, Thompson, CH, Fergus, IF & Tunstall, BR (1981), 'Plant succession and soil development in coastal sand dunes of subtropical eastern Australia', Forest succession: concepts and applications, Springer-Verlag New York, Inc., USA, eds. D.C. West, H.H. Shugart & D.B. Botkin.

Last updated: 22 March 2013

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment, Science and Innovation, Queensland (2013) Wallum Freshwater Biogeographic Province – Climate, WetlandInfo website, accessed 1 February 2024. Available at: https://wetlandinfo.des.qld.gov.au/wetlands/ecology/aquatic-ecosystems-natural/riverine/freshwater-biogeo/wallum/climate.html

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