American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Salinity, Temperature and Turbidity Structure in the Suva Lagoon, Fiji

Awnesh Singh and Than Aung

DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2008.266.275

American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 4, Issue 4

Pages 266-275

Abstract

The city of Suva is home to nearly a quarter of the population of the Fiji thereby placing a lot of anthropogenic pressure on its lagoon. The Suva lagoon (comprising of Suva Harbour and Laucala Bay) has been subject to substantial sediment inputs generated by erosion and human activities. Freshwater input into the lagoon comes predominantly from the Rewa River, the largest fluvial system in the country. The high sedimentary load from the Rewa River, especially during the wet-warm period (November-April), has a strong impact on the lagoon. In addition, there are local sources of pollutant input into the lagoon via the Vatuwaqa River and the Kinoya Sewage Treatment Plant, which discharges effluents into the lagoon and degrades the marine environment. The salinity, temperature and turbidity in the Suva lagoon are some important parameters for water quality which are continuously changing with the seasons and need to be studied because they are efficient indicators of variations in the lagoon and can transform the marine ecosystem. Several field trips were undertaken in the Suva lagoon to collect hydrographical data to study the water properties in the lagoon. Results obtained showed that the salinity near the head of Laucala Bay during the wet-warm period was below 24.8 psu and was 33.7 psu during the dry-cool period (May - October). The temperature range during the wet-warm period was between 28.0-30.5°C and between 24.5-25.5°C during the dry-cool period. The turbidity was always above 3.0 FTU near the river mouths. The field results show that the variations of CTD measurements are dependent predominantly on the river discharge, while the dominant wind regime is the southeast trade winds.

Copyright

© 2008 Awnesh Singh and Than Aung. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.