Richmond River

Physical characteristics

Latitude (ºS)-28.88
Longitude (ºE)153.59
Catchment area (km2)16861.8
Estuary area (km2)1,238.4
Estuary volume (ML)3119314.4
Average depth (m)43.2
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:     870m upstream from the entrance on 3/11/94

Tide stateFlow
(106 m3
tidal range (m)
Sydney Harbour
tidal range (m)
Ebb flow21.91.531.67
Flood flow 24.991.561.61

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
May 1977Current metering at five lines near Ballina: velocity, discharge, temperature/salinity, bed samples and suspended sediment samples.-MHL245
Jul 1982Current metering North Creek - velocities at four locations, eight tideboards, suspended sediment samples and bed sediment samples.-MHL375
Nov 1994Velocities at twelve locations, water levels at twenty-three locations, water quality data at twelve locations and water quality profile runs.1988-05.pdfMHL708

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
55281s01.pdfIndex plan - complete coverage1:700003690.2kb
55281s02.pdfCross section locations - North Creek & Newrybar Drain1:10000351.1kb
55281s03.pdfCross section location & index plan - North Creek, Maguires Creek & Emigrant Creek1:10000874.6kb
55281s04.pdfCross section location & index plan - Richmond River, lower Emigrant Creek & Duck Creek1:10000765.2kb
55281s05.pdfCross section location & index plan - Richmond River (Wardell)1:10000340.6kb
55281s06.pdfIndex plan - Cabbage Tree Island to Rileys Hill (1:5000 series)1:10000341.7kb
55281s07.pdfCross section location & index plan - Richmond River (Woodburn)1:10000409.1kb
55281s08.pdfCross section location plan - Richmond River, Sandy Creek & Bungawalbin Creek1:10000495.1kb
55281s09.pdfCross section location plan - Bungawalbin Creek1:10000312.6kb
55281s10.pdfCross section location plan - Richmond River & Wilsons River (Coraki Junction)1:10000510.2kb
55281s11.pdfCross section location plan - Richmond River (Tatham)1:10000465.3kb
55281s12.pdfCross section location plan - Wilsons River (Gundurimba)1:10000427.2kb
55281s13.pdfCross section location plan - Terania Creek & Wilsons River (Lismore)1:100001067.5kb
55281s14.pdfLegends, notes and datum diagramN/A142.5kb
55281s15.pdfNorth Creek (Ballina Airport)1:2000195.1kb
55281s16.pdfNorth Creek & Chickiba Creek (East Ballina)1:2000387.1kb
55281s17.pdfNorth Creek (Ballina/Ballina Racecourse)1:2000424.6kb
55281s18.pdfNorth Creek & Richmond River junction1:2000669.5kb
55281s19.pdfRichmond River entrance1:20001033.0kb
55281s20.pdfRichmond River (Ballina/South Ballina)1:2000980.1kb
55281s21.pdfRichmond River & Mobbs Bay (Ballina/West Ballina)1:2000896.4kb
55281s22.pdfNorth Creek Canal1:2000239.4kb
55281s23.pdfEmigrant Creek & Richmond River junction1:2000875.4kb
55281s24.pdfRichmond River (Emigrant Point Rd)1:2000818.0kb
55281s25.pdfRichmond River (Pimlico Island/Empire Vale)1:5000422.5kb
55281s26.pdfRichmond River (Wardell)1:5000400.6kb
55281s27.pdfRichmond River & Tuckean Broadwater junction1:5000412.2kb
55281s28.pdfRichmond River & Tuckean Broadwater1:5000396.7kb
55281s29.pdfRichmond River (Kilgin)1:5000294.4kb
55281s30.pdfRichmond River & Rocky Mouth Creek1:5000325.5kb
55281s31.pdfCross sections - Richmond River1:1000 H 1:200 V200.6kb
55281s32.pdfCross sections - Richmond River1:1000 H 1:200 V250.8kb
55281s33.pdfCross sections - Richmond River1:1000 H 1:200 V193.1kb
55281s34.pdfCross sections - Richmond River1:1000 H 1:200 V207.1kb
55281s35.pdfCross sections - Richmond River1:1000 H 1:200 V188.8kb
55281s36.pdfCross sections - Richmond River1:1000 H 1:200 V212.4kb
55281s37.pdfCross sections - Richmond River1:1000 H 1:200 V211.7kb
55281s38.pdfCross sections - Richmond River1:1000 H 1:200 V245.0kb
55281s39.pdfCross sections - Richmond River1:1000 H 1:200 V261.1kb
55281s40.pdfCross sections - Richmond River1:1000 H 1:200 V331.7kb
55281s41.pdfCross sections - Richmond River & Swan Bay1:1000 H 1:200 V294.2kb
55281s42.pdfCross sections - Swan Bay1:1000 H 1:200 V173.0kb
55281s43.pdfCross sections - Bungawalbin Creek1:1000 H 1:200 V233.8kb
55281s44.pdfCross sections - Bungawalbin Creek1:1000 H 1:200 V219.1kb
55281s45.pdfCross sections - Bungawalbin Creek1:1000 H 1:200 V222.1kb
55281s46.pdfCross sections - Bungawalbin Creek1:1000 H 1:200 V240.2kb
55281s47.pdfCross sections - Bungawalbin Creek & Sandy Creek1:1000 H 1:200 V236.4kb
55281s48.pdfCross sections - Wilsons River & Unnamed Creek1:1000 H 1:200 V216.2kb
55281s49.pdfCross sections - Wilsons River1:1000 H 1:200 V223.4kb
55281s50.pdfCross sections - Wilsons River1:1000 H 1:200 V219.4kb
55281s51.pdfCross sections - Wilsons River1:1000 H 1:200 V220.7kb
55281s52.pdfCross sections - Wilsons River1:1000 H 1:200 V219.8kb
55281s53.pdfCross sections - Wilsons River1:1000 H 1:200 V215.2kb
55281s54.pdfCross sections - Wilsons River1:1000 H 1:200 V225.2kb
55281s55.pdfCross sections - Wilsons River & Leycester Creek1:1000 H 1:200 V225.3kb
55281s56.pdfCross sections - Leycester Creek & Terania Creek1:1000 H 1:200 V264.9kb
55281s57.pdfCross sections - Terania Creek & North Creek1:1000 H 1:200 V283.3kb
55281s58.pdfCross sections - North Creek, Deadmans Creek & Emigrant Creek1:1000 H 1:200 V266.6kb
55281s59.pdfCross sections - Emigrant Creek1:1000 H 1:200 V242.3kb
55281s60.pdfCross sections - Emigrant Creek1:1000 H 1:200 V258.3kb
55281s61.pdfCross sections - Emigrant Creek, Duck Creek & Maguires Creek1:1000 H 1:200 V261.6kb
55281s62.pdfCross sections - Maguires Creek, Houghlahans Creek, Bingal Creek & Rocky Mouth Creek1:1000 H 1:200 V231.9kb
55281_Sections.txtCross sections xyz dataN/A449.7kb
55281.txtBathymetry xyz dataN/A2264.2kb
53755SH1.pdfShaws Bay (East Ballina)1:1000456.0kb
53755.txtShaws Bay xyz dataN/A81.9kb
Page last updated: 27 April 2012