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Title: Using 3D geological modelling and geochemical mixing to characterise alluvial aquifer recharge sources in the upper Condamine River catchment, Queensland, Australia
Authors: Martinez, J
Raiber, M
Cendón, DI
Keywords: Geology
Alluvial deposits
Ground water
Issue Date: 1-Jan-2017
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Martinez, J. L., Raiber, M., & Cendón, D,I. (2017). Using 3D geological modelling and geochemical mixing models to characterise alluvial aquifer recharge sources in the upper Condamine River catchment, Queensland, Australia. Science of The Total Environment, 574, 1-18. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.09.029
Abstract: The influence of mountain front recharge on the water balance of alluvial valley aquifers located in upland catchments of the Condamine River basin in Queensland, Australia, is investigated through the development of an integrated hydrogeological framework. A combination of three-dimensional (3D) geological modelling, hydraulic gradient maps, multivariate statistical analyses and hydrochemical mixing calculations is proposed for the identification of hydrochemical end-members and quantification of the relative contributions of each end-member to alluvial aquifer recharge. The recognised end-members correspond to diffuse recharge and lateral groundwater inflows from three hydrostratigraphic units directly connected to the alluvial aquifer. This approach allows mapping zones of potential inter-aquifer connectivity and areas of groundwater mixing between underlying units and the alluvium. Mixing calculations using samples collected under baseflow conditions reveal that lateral contribution from a regional volcanic aquifer system represents the majority (41%) of inflows to the alluvial aquifer. Diffuse recharge contribution (35%) and inflow from two sedimentary bedrock hydrostratigraphic units (collectively 24%) comprise the remainder of major recharge sources. A detailed geochemical assessment of alluvial groundwater evolution along a selected flowpath of a representative subcatchment of the Condamine River basin confirms mixing as a key process responsible for observed spatial variations in hydrochemistry. Dissolution of basalt-related minerals and dolomite, CO2 uptake, ion-exchange, precipitation of clay minerals, and evapotranspiration further contribute to the hydrochemical evolution of groundwater in the upland alluvial aquifer. This study highlights the benefits of undertaking an integrated approach that combines multiple independent lines of evidence. The proposed methods can be applied to investigate processes associated with inter-aquifer mixing, including groundwater contamination resulting from depressurisation of underlying geological units hydraulically connected to the shallower water reservoirs. © 2016, Elsevier B.V.
Gov't Doc #: 7461
ISSN: 0048-9697
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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