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Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

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Biophysical interactions - intertidal wetlands

Biophysical interactions

Preliminary Geography 

Intertidal wetlands

How do the components of the biophysical environment interact in intertidal wetlands and what are the effects of human activities and climate variations on ecosystem functioning?

This excursion introduces students to the nature and functioning of the four components: the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and biosphere in the mangrove and saltmarsh communities located in the intertidal zone of the Lane Cove River estuary. 

Ecologically important, mangroves and saltmarsh are positioned in a dynamic land-sea interface existing in salty, tidal areas where other vegetation types can not. Perceptions on the value of these environments have changed over time as their vital role in providing ecosystem services is recognised. Importantly, the intertidal zone is essential for protecting coastal zones from the impacts of a changing climate and as a carbon sink, storing 5 times more carbon in the soil than other environments. 

Thinking and working geographically, students will use fieldwork equipment to measure biotic and abiotic factors,  use transect and quadrat sampling techniques, test water quality and apply their knowledge and evidence collected in the field to make decisions on sustainable devlopment along the Lane Cove River. Historial photos, plans of mangement, maps and spatial data compliments primary data collection.  

Students are encouraged to bring a mobile device with location services enabled to record points of interest with observed fieldwork data. The data collected will be shared to view in maps and as tables and charts.

The fieldwork techniques used will support students undertaking their Senior Geography Project (SGP) in natural environments.

Attending this excursion fulfills the NSW Preliminary Geography course requirements for fieldwork in Biophysical interactions.


  • Buffalo Creek Reserve to Magdala Park
  • Field studies in the mangrove environment are best conducted with a low tide around 11am 2022 tides

Track overview

Program details