Moruya River

Physical characteristics

Latitude (ºS)-35.91
Longitude (ºE)150.15
Catchment area (km2)11423.7
Estuary area (km2)1,26.1
Estuary volume (ML)310168.0
Average depth (m)41.9
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:     825m from ocean on 5/4/00

Tide stateFlow
(106 m3
tidal range (m)
Sydney Harbour
tidal range (m)
Ebb flow4.881.211.47
Flood flow

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
Dec 1978Tidal flow data collected at the causeway constriction at the entrance to Malabar Creek - one line and four tideboards. Data plotted in MHL393. No discharge calculated.-(MHL393)
Nov 1983Repeat of 1978 gauging - no discharge calculated.-MHL393
Apr 2000Extensive data collection: water levels at eight sites, velocities at six sites, in situ water quality at two sites and water quality profiles at eleven sites.1988-51.pdfMHL1059

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
53981s1.pdfIndex plan & cross section locations1:12500229.0kb
53981s2.pdfTidal planes1:12500258.0kb
53981s3.pdfLegends, notes, datum diagramN/A107.4kb
53981s4.pdfMoruya River entrance & offshore1:1000490.1kb
53981s5.pdfMoruya River entrance1:1000542.9kb
53981s6.pdfMoruya River (Quandola Island)1:1000132.1kb
53981s7.pdfMoruya River (southern bank)1:1000223.3kb
53981s8.pdfMoruya River lower estuary1:1000521.0kb
53981s9.pdfMoruya River lower estuary1:1000400.4kb
53981s10.pdfMoruya River & Malabar Lagoon1:1000365.5kb
53981s11.pdfMalabar Lagoon & Malabar Creek1:1000151.2kb
53981s12.pdfMalabar Lagoon & Malabar Creek1:1000164.1kb
53981s13.pdfMoruya River & Racecourse Creek1:1000293.8kb
53981s14.pdfMoruya River (Moruya)1:1000305.7kb
53981s15.pdfMoruya River (Moruya Hospital)1:1000322.3kb
53981s16.pdfCross sections - Moruya River (Yarragee)1:1000 H 1:200 V202.6kb
53981s17.pdfCross sections - Moruya River upper estuary1:1000 H 1:200 V215.1kb
53981s18.pdfCross sections - Racecourse Creek, North Head Road Causeway, Malabar Creek, Mogendoura Creek, Wamban Creek & Candoin Creek1:1000 H 1:200 V162.2kb
53981.txtMoruya River xyz dataN/A789.6kb
Page last updated: 27 April 2012