Ranger mine monitoring data

Magela Creek biological monitoring data

Biological monitoring techniques have been developed that can be used to assess the environmental impact of uranium mining on aquatic ecosystems downstream of Ranger mine. Two broad approaches are used:

Early detection

Toxicity monitoring

Snail egg data

The Supervising Scientist's interpretation of these data is available under the Current Results of toxicity monitoring section of this website.

Snail egg data graph

Figure 1. Toxicity (in situ) monitoring results for freshwater snail (Amerianna cumingi) egg production for wet seasons between 2006/07 and 2011/12. Magela Creek (a); Gulungul Creek (b). In situ testing for Gulungul Creek started in the 2009-10 wet season. The 96 hour tests are conducted in each creek at fortnightly intervals, with 9 tests completed in both Magela Creek from 1st December 2011 until 9th April 2012 and in Gulungul Creek from the 8th December 2011 until 2nd April 2012. Chart last updated April 11th 2012.

Fish survival data

The survivorship of black-banded rainbowfish, Melanotaenia nigrans, larvae was also used as a toxicity monitoring response test from the 1991-92 wet season through to 2005-06. This test has not been conducted since 2005-06. See explanatory notes to view the data and for further details.

Bioaccumulation

Freshwater mussel data

The Supervising Scientist's interpretation of these data is available at Explanatory notes on bioaccumulation.

Uranium in mussels
Mean concentrations of uranium measured in dried flesh of freshwater mussels, sediment and water samples collected from Mudginberri Billabong and control billabongs since 2000.

Mean concentrations of uranium measured in dried flesh of freshwater mussels, sediment and water samples collected from Mudginberri Billabong and control billabongs since 2000. Chart last updated November 2009.

Radium in mussels
Radium activity concentrations in the dried flesh of freshwater mussels collected from Mudginberri Billabong 2000-2005 and control site, Sandy Billabong 2002-2005.

226Ra concentrations in the dried flesh of freshwater mussels collected from Mudginberri and control billabongs since  2000. The error bars are ± one standard deviation. Chart last updated November 2009.

Fish bioaccumulation data

Uranium in forktail catfish

Monitoring for potential bioaccumulation of U in the flesh of forktail catfish was discontinued after the 2007 collection – see the explanatory notes on bioaccumulation to view the data and for further details.

Assessment of biodiversity

Macroinvertebrates

The Supervising Scientist's interpretation of these data is available at Explanatory notes on assessment of biodiversity.

Paired upstream-downstream dissimilarity values (using the Bray-Curtis measure) calculated for community structure of macroinvertebrate families.

Paired upstream-downstream dissimilarity values (using the Bray-Curtis measure) calculated for community structure of macroinvertebrate families in several streams in the vicinity of the Ranger uranium mine for the period 1988 to 2009. The dashed vertical lines delineate periods for which a different sampling and/or sample processing method was used. Dashed horizontal lines indicate mean dissimilarity across years. Chart last updated November 2009.

Fish

Channel billabongs

The Supervising Scientist's interpretation of these data is available at Explanatory notes on assessment of biodiversity.

Paired control-exposed dissimilarity values calculated for community structure of fish in Mudginberri and Sandy billabongs in the vicinity of the Ranger uranium mine over time.

Paired control-exposed dissimilarity values (using the Bray-Curtis measure) calculated for community structure of fish in Mudginberri ('exposed') and Sandy ('control') billabongs in the vicinity of the Ranger uranium mine over time. Values are means (±standard error) of the 5 possible (randomly-selected) pairwise comparisons of transect data between the two billabongs. Chart last updated September 2011.

Lowland billabongs

The Supervising Scientist's interpretation of these data is available at Explanatory notes on assessment of biodiversity.

Relative abundance of fish in billabongs with different degrees of exposure to contaminants from Ranger uranium mine, 1993-2005. Not all sites have been sampled each year.

Paired control-exposed site dissimilarity values (using the Bray-Curtis measure) calculated for community structure of fish in ‘directly-exposed’ Magela and ‘control’ Nourlangie and Magela Billabongs in the vicinity of the Ranger uranium mine over time. Dashed horizontal lines indicate mean dissimilarity across years. Values are means (± standard error) of the 5 possible (randomly-selected) pairwise comparisons of average trap enclosure data between the pairwise billabong comparisons, Coonjimba-Buba, Gulungul- Wirnmuyurr and Georgetown-Sandy Billabongs. Chart last updated November 2009.