Ian's Corner

A journal of seawater incursions by local resident Ian Rowan of Goolwa. More will be added as they become available.


Apart from one solitary gate at Boundary Creek, all gates have been closed presumably in anticipation of tonights change and tomorrow's sea swell.

Flow to SA increasing quickly as is flow over Lock1 which is now 27 GL/d.


Yep they did open 15 gates in the Goolwa Barrage yesterday and as a consequence we have salt water again but not as salty as last week.  Extra gates were also opened in Ewe and Tauwicherie and it is very salty there. The extra flow through Tauwitcherie, when it flows downstream, has certainly helped reduce salinities in the Coorong.


Water levels upstream of barrages dropped to about 0.4m (at low tide) in the last couple of days as a result of the increased gate openings.  This has brought water levels here down closer to natural levels with tidal fluctuations.  No storm, no real winds, no king tides just a normal high tide but salinity at HI Bridge shot up to 40,000 EC at 6am this morning. Just another example of what conditions would have been like naturally in the past.



Barrage openings now increased to 75/6/1/20/25 from Goolwa to Tauwitcherie giving a theoretical discharge of 32 GL/d.  Current flow over Lock1 only 18 GL/d so they are really trying this time to lower the Lake water levels and drain Lake Albert before the flows increase.  Already a slight hiccup due to today's storm but should only be short lived.  The additional opening of the Tauwitcherie Barrage from 13 to 20 to 25 gates seems to be having an immediate impact on Southern Lagoon salinities.

A collection of articles regarding salinity and seawater incursions in the Lower Lakes of South Australia.

Summary of Sea Water Intrusions into the Lower Lakes, Oct 2010 to Oct 2011

Under natural, pre barrage conditions, sea water inflow into the Lower Lakes would have been common during low flow or even minor flood (up to approx 80 GL/d) flow conditions.

Dissecting the Tides - 3 October 2011

Tidal water levels in the Goolwa Channel during the latest storm event.

Seawater Intrusion Observations  -  21  September 2011

The latest storms and impact on water quality upstream of the Goolwa Barrage.

Rediscovering the Past   September 2011

Historical Sea Water Intrusions Up the River Murray

Lower Lakes and Sea Levels  August 2011

Water Levels in the Lower Lakes and Encounter Bay

King Tides  4 July 2011

This event was the fifth major sea water intrusion event since May 22nd - but with the highest tides.

Lower Lake Seawater Flow Reversals  May 2011

Saline intrusion to and past Point Sturt despite the flood conditions.