Brunswick River

Physical characteristics

Latitude (ºS)-28.54
Longitude (ºE)153.56
Catchment area (km2)1226.3
Estuary area (km2)1,23.6
Estuary volume (ML)34267.9
Average depth (m)41.3
Roy et al. (2001) classification5III/5/D
Entrance condition6O/T
  1. Derived from DECCW (2010) NSW estuaries and coastal catchments spatial database.
  2. Includes area mapped as open water (see note 1), mangrove and saltmarsh areas (Creese R. G., Glasby T. M., West G. and Gallen C. (2009) Mapping the habitats of NSW estuaries. Industry & Investment NSW Fisheries Final Report Series 113. Port Stephens, NSW, Australia.
  3. Based on areas at 0.6 m AHD (Roper T., Creese B., Scanes P., Stephens K., Williams R., Dela-Cruz J., Coade G. and Coates B. (2011) Assessing the condition of estuaries and coastal lake ecosystems in NSW. Office of Environment and Heritage, Sydney).
  4. Estimated by dividing the total volume at 0.6 m AHD by the total surface area of the estuary including mangrove areas but excluding saltmarsh (Roper et al., 2011)
  5. Estuary group: I = oceanic embayment, II = tide dominated estuary, III = wave dominated estuary, IV = intermittently closed estuary V = freshwater bodies
    Estuary type: 1 = ocean embayments, 3 = drowned valley estuary, 5 = barrier estuary, 6 = barrier lagoon, 7 = interbarrier estuary, 8 = saline coastal lagoon, 9 = small coastal creeks, 11 = brackish barrier lake. Evolution stage: A=youthful, B=intermediate, C=semi-mature, D=mature.
    (P. S. Roy, R. J. Williams, A. R. Jones, I. Yassini, P. J. Gibbs, B. Coates, R. J. West, P. R. Scanes, J. P. Hudson and S. Nichol (2001) Structure and Function of South-east Australian Estuaries. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 53, 351-384)
  6. Entrance conditions: O = open, T = trained, I = intermittent.

Tidal prism

The volume of water moving past a fixed cross section during each flood tide or ebb tide (i.e. slack water to slack water), is referred to as the tidal prism of an estuary.

The following table shows the measured tidal prism at the location specified, along with the tidal range for near the measurement site and at Sydney Harbour.

Location:     320m upstream from the entrance on 31/8/07

Tide stateFlow
(106 m3
tidal range (m)
Sydney Harbour
tidal range (m)
Ebb flow2.081.341.33
Flood flow 21.451.38

Tidal survey

Tidal surveys measure the hydrodynamic behaviour of an estuary during a full tidal cycle. The parameters measured include velocity, water levels, salinity, temperature and pH.

The following tidal surveys have been undertaken on this estuary. A map shows the location and plots of the flows and water levels for the most comprehensive survey.

Copies of tidal survey reports are available from the Estuary Management Program

DateData collectedFigureReport
Jan to Feb 1976Float tracking, spot velocities, water levels and cross sections.-MHL271
Mar 1977Current metering at two lines tidal velocity, discharge, cross section, four tideboards, temperature and salinity and suspended sediment samples.-MHL230
Sep 1983Current metering over a full tidal cycle on six lines, nine tideboards, temperature/salinity, sediment sampling, dissolved oxygen readings.-MHL385
Jul 1994Current metering, drogue tracking and water quality.-MHL711
Oct 1994Current metering, drogue tracking and water quality.-MHL711
Mar 1997 to Mar 1999Brunswick River Water Quality Monitoring.-MHL1000
Apr to Nov 2007Extensive data collection: water levels at thirteen sites; velocities at five sites and water quality profiles at thirty-two sites.1988-04.pdfMHL1787

Hydrographic survey

The hydrographic survey provides the depth and physical characteristics of the estuary.

The metadata associated with the survey can be found on the map sheets provided.

Map sheet number DescriptionScale    Size
53061SH1.pdfBrunswick River at Brunswick Heads1:1000396.7kb
53061SH2.pdfBrunswick River entrance1:1000391.7kb
53061.txtxyz dataN/A144.8kb
56268s01.pdfIndex plan1:150001710.4kb
56268s02.pdfTidal planesN/A339.5kb
56268s03.pdfCross section locations - Marshalls Creek1:5000632.7kb
56268s04.pdfCross section locations - Brunswick River, Kings Creek, Pipeclay Creek & Midjimbil Creek1:5000537.3kb
56268s05.pdfCross section locations - Simpsons Creek1:5000511.7kb
56268s06.pdfMarshalls Creek & Yelgun Creek1:2000642.0kb
56268s07.pdfMarshalls Creek1:2000576.1kb
56268s08.pdfBrunswick River & Marshalls Creek1:2000538.4kb
56268s09.pdfBrunswick River entrance & Simpsons Creek1:2000913.4kb
56268s10.pdfBrunswick River mid estuary1:2000724.1kb
56268s11.pdfBrunswick River mid to upper estuary1:2000573.1kb
56268s12.pdfBrunswick River upper estuary1:2000541.3kb
56268s13.pdfCross sections - Brunswick River & Kings Creek1:1000 H 1:200 V285.5kb
56268s14.pdfCross sections - Kings Creek & Marshalls Creek1:1000 H 1:200 V265.5kb
56268s15.pdfCross sections - Midjimbil Creek & Pipe Clay Creek1:1000 H 1:200 V267.0kb
56268s16.pdfCross sections - Simpsons Creek1:1000 H 1:200 V324.0kb
56268s17.pdfCross sections - Simpsons Creek1:1000 H 1:200 V272.9kb
56268s18.pdfCross sections - Simpsons Creek1:1000 H 1:200 V244.3kb
56268s19.pdfCross sections - Simpsons Creek1:1000 H 1:200 V231.8kb
56268s20.pdfCross sections - Simpsons Creek1:1000 H 1:200 V196.2kb
56268.txtBrunswick River xyz dataN/A428.5kb
Page last updated: 26 April 2012