The hydrogeology of the Condamine River alluvial aquifer, Australia: a critical assessment

Article


Dafny, Elad and Silburn, D. Mark. 2014. "The hydrogeology of the Condamine River alluvial aquifer, Australia: a critical assessment." Hydrogeology Journal. 22 (3), pp. 705-727. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10040-013-1075-z
Article Title

The hydrogeology of the Condamine River alluvial aquifer,
Australia: a critical assessment

ERA Journal ID1947
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsDafny, Elad (Author) and Silburn, D. Mark (Author)
Journal TitleHydrogeology Journal
Journal Citation22 (3), pp. 705-727
Number of Pages23
Year2014
Place of PublicationHeidelberg, Germany
ISSN0941-2816
1431-2174
1435-0157
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s10040-013-1075-z
Web Address (URL)http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10040-013-1075-z
Abstract

The Condamine plain is an important agricultural zone in Australia with prominent irrigated cotton and grain crops. About one third of the irrigation water is pumped from the shallow alluvial aquifer, causing gross aquifer depletion over time. Over the last few decades, various hydrological, hydrochemical, and geological aspects of this aquifer and the overlying floodplain (including soil properties) have been investigated and used to construct the conceptual understanding and numerical models for management of this resource. Yet, the water balance of the aquifer is still far from resolved, and the geological contact between the alluvial sediments and underlying bedrock is yet to
be categorically defined, to mention two major uncertainties. This paper collates up-to-date knowledge of different disciplines, critically evaluates the accepted hydrogeological conventions, highlights key knowledge gaps, and suggests strategies for future research. Among recommendations are (1) development of numerical flow and solute transport models for the natural (ie. pre-developed) period, (2) analysis of groundwater for isotopic composition and presence of pesticides, CFCs and PPCPs, and (3) use of stochastic approaches to characterize the hydraulic properties of the alluvial sediments. These and other proposed measures are relevant also to other alluvial aquifers which suffer from similar fundamental uncertainties.

KeywordsCondamine; groundwater management; alluvial aquifer; water budget; hydraulic properties; catchment management
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020300210. Sustainable agricultural development
370799. Hydrology not elsewhere classified
410699. Soil sciences not elsewhere classified
Public Notes

© 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Published online 19 Apr 2013. Published version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

Byline AffiliationsNational Centre for Engineering in Agriculture
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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