The Knysna Estuary Monitoring Platform (KEMP) is a water quality monitoring programme located within the Knysna estuary. Water quality data is collected by two Monitoring Stations within Thesen Islands Marina and at Thesens Jetty respectively. At each station, a permanently deployed Hach sonde collects data on a real-time, 24/7 basis and measurements are taken on an hourly basis.
KEMP data collection
This fine scale data collection enables us to observe all weather and environmental events that take place such as freshwater floods and upwelling events. Parameters measured include:
- Dissolved oxygen (mg/l and % saturation)
The Monitoring Station located at Thesens Jetty also measures Chlorophyll a.
A weather station located at Thesens Jetty measures the following:
- wind speed
- wind direction
- rainfall per hour
- absolute air pressure
- air temperature
- sun brightness
The data collected by the sondes are logged on a data logger located at each Monitoring Station. From here the data is uploaded to a database which can be accessed online at www.hach.zednet.ac.za. Data is uploaded every four hours.
The aims of KEMP
- Conduct long-term water quality monitoring of the Knysna estuary to provide data for research and management purposes.
- Generate real-time, 27/7 monitoring data to gain insight into the water quality dynamics of the estuary, with a focus on specific environmental events such as upwelling and floods.
- Generate a long-term water quality data set to record trends and changes of the system.
- Collect long-term depth and water quality data to assess potential impacts from climate change and sea level rise.
What does the future hold for KEMP?
To achieve the aims of KEMP, the Knysna Basin Project will expand the monitoring programme to encompass the entire Knysna estuary. This will include the establishment of two additional Monitoring Stations, one located above the Red Bridge (within the estuary regime) and another located at St James’s jetty (within the lagoon regime). This expansion will allow us to monitor all three hydrographical regimes of the Knysna estuary with regards to various aspects such as freshwater inflows, salinity dynamics, sea level rise etc. all critical aspects for estuarine biota and their behaviour. This expansion will also assist researchers of all disciplines with fieldwork and we hope that this expansion will result in an increase of research endeavours within our estuary.