Quantifying water balance uncertainty associated with predicting Coal Seam Gas impacts in the Condamine Catchment.
This research will examine the impacts of the expansion of Coal Seam Gas (CSG) production in the Surat Basin on groundwater levels in the upper Condamine alluvium and the eastern portion of the Great Artesian Basin. At present there is an upwards pressure transferred by the groundwater from the underlying Great Artesian Basin into the base of the Condamine alluvial aquifer. The Walloon Coal Measures, which is the target formation for CSG production, is located with the Great Artesian Basin. There is concern that CSG Production will reverse the pressure gradient between the GAB and the Condamine Alluvium. This would reduce the groundwater levels in the Condamine Alluvium and may impinge upon future groundwater allocations to the irrigation sector. There already exists several groundwater models (held by the QLD State Government and CSG producers), which attempt to predict the impact of CSG production, however, there is considerable uncertainty associated with these predictions due to how the geology is conceptualised and the selection of parameters used in the groundwater flow simulations.
Supervisor - Associate Professor Bryce Kelly
Hocking, M. & Kelly, B.F.J. Groundwater recharge and time lag measurement through Vertosols using impulse response functions. Journal of Hydrology 535: p.22-35. (2016). http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2016.01.042