Freshwater recharge into a shallow saline groundwater system, Cooper Creek floodplain, Queensland, Australia

Article


Cendon, Dioni I., Larsen, Joshua R., Jones, Brian G., Nanson, Gerald C., Rickleman, Daniel, Hankin, Stuart I., Pueyo, Juan J. and Maroulis, Jerry. 2010. "Freshwater recharge into a shallow saline groundwater system, Cooper Creek floodplain, Queensland, Australia." Journal of Hydrology. 392 (3-4), pp. 150-163. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hydrol.2010.08.003
Article Title

Freshwater recharge into a shallow saline groundwater system, Cooper Creek floodplain, Queensland, Australia

ERA Journal ID1949
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsCendon, Dioni I. (Author), Larsen, Joshua R. (Author), Jones, Brian G. (Author), Nanson, Gerald C. (Author), Rickleman, Daniel (Author), Hankin, Stuart I. (Author), Pueyo, Juan J. (Author) and Maroulis, Jerry (Author)
Journal TitleJournal of Hydrology
Journal Citation392 (3-4), pp. 150-163
Number of Pages14
Year2010
PublisherElsevier
Place of PublicationAmsterdam, Netherlands
ISSN0022-1694
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hydrol.2010.08.003
Abstract

Freshwater lenses have been identified as having penetrated the shallow regional saline groundwater beneath the Cooper Creek floodplain near Ballera (south-west Queensland). Piezometers were installed to evaluate the major-element chemistry along a floodplain transect from a major waterhole (Goonbabinna)to a smaller waterhole (Chookoo) associated with a sand dune complex. The floodplain consists of 2–7 m of impermeable mud underlain by unconsolidated fluvial sands with a saline watertable. Waterholes have in places scoured into the floodplain. The transect reveals that groundwater recharge takes
place through the base of the waterholes at times of flood scour, but not through the floodplain mud.
Total dissolved solids rise with distance from the waterhole and independently of the presence of sand
dunes. Stable water isotopes (d2H and d18O) confirm that recharge is consistent with, and dependant on, monsoonal flooding events. Following floods, the waterholes self-seal and retain water for extended periods, with sulfate-d34S and d18O isotopes suggesting bacterial reduction processes within the hyporheic zone, and limited interaction between the surface water and groundwater during no-flow conditions.
The area occupied by the freshwater lenses (TDS < 5000 mg/L) is locally asymmetrical with respect to the channel flow direction, extending down gradient along distances of ~300 m.

Keywordsarid zone river; Lake Eyre basin; shallow groundwater; stable isotopes; freshwater lenses; Cooper Creek
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020419999. Other environmental sciences not elsewhere classified
340199. Analytical chemistry not elsewhere classified
400513. Water resources engineering
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Byline AffiliationsAustralian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
University of Wollongong
University of Barcelona, Spain
Australian Centre for Sustainable Catchments
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