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  • This report presents key results from the Upper Burdekin Groundwater Project conducted as part of Exploring for the Future (EFTF)—an eight year Australian Government funded geoscience data and information acquisition program. The first four years of the Program (2016–20) aimed to better understand the potential mineral, energy and groundwater resources in northern Australia. The Upper Burdekin Groundwater Project focused on the McBride Basalt Province (MBP) and Nulla Basalt Province (NBP) in the Upper Burdekin region of North Queensland. It was undertaken as a collaborative study between Geoscience Australia and the Queensland Government. This document reports the key findings of the project, as a synthesis of the hydrogeological investigation project and includes maps and figures to display the results.

  • The Upper Burdekin Chloride Mass Balance Recharge web service depicts the recharge rates have been estimated at borehole locations in the Nulla and McBride basalt provinces. Using rainfall rates, rainfall chemistry and groundwater chemistry, the recharge rates have been estimated through the Chloride Mass Balance approach.

  • This data release contains accurate positional data for groundwater boreholes in terms of horizontal location as well as elevation of the top of casing protectors. Twenty-four boreholes located in the Nulla and McBride basalt provinces have had DGPS survey results compiled and are presented. Using 95% confidence intervals, the horizontal uncertainties are less than 1.2m and vertical uncertainties less than 0.9m. These results are a substantial improvement, particularly on the uncertainty of elevations, and as such allow water levels need to be compared between bores on a comparable datum, to enable a regional hydrogeological understanding. Quantifying the uncertainties in elevation data adds robustness to the analysis of water levels across the region rather than detracting from it.

  • This report provides an initial summary of the hydrogeochemistry of the McBride Basalt Province (MBP) and Nulla Basalt Province (NBP) of the Upper Burdekin Region of North Queensland, completed as part of Exploring for the Future (EFTF)—an eight year, $225 million Australian Government funded geoscience data and information acquisition program focused on better understanding the potential mineral, energy and groundwater resources across Australia. Groundwater hydrogeochemistry studies can improve system understanding by reflecting host formation compositions and groundwater processes. These studies also provide regional baseline groundwater datasets that can inform environmental monitoring, resource use and decision making. During 2017 and 2018 Geoscience Australia collected 38 groundwater samples and 80 surface water samples (including quality control samples) to evaluate groundwater system processes including potential flow paths, recharge and groundwater-surface water-interactions. These surveys were conducted across three months of fieldwork, sampling water for a comprehensive suite of hydrogeochemical parameters. The present report includes surface water and groundwater data and information on: 1) sampling sites; 2) field physicochemical parameters (EC, pH, Eh, DO and T); 3) field measurements of total alkalinity (HCO3-); 4) laboratory results of major anion and cation results; 5) laboratory results for isotopes of water (δ18O and δD), DIC (δ13C), and dissolved strontium (87Sr/86Sr); and 6) hydrogeochemical maps representing the spatial distribution of these parameters. Pending analyses include: CFCs, SF6 and radiogenic isotopes δ14C and δ36Cl. Analysis that were largely below detection limit include: trace element concentrations, dissolved sulfide (S2-), ferrous iron (Fe2+), and dissolved sulfate (affecting sampling of δ34S and δ18O). This study demonstrates that hydrogeochemistry surveys, with full suites of chemical parameters including isotopes, can reveal fundamental groundwater system processes such as groundwater flow paths, groundwater recharge and groundwater-surface water interactions. The chemical ‘fingerprints’ identified here indicate groundwater flow paths are largely restricted to within the MBP and NBP aquifers, which have little interaction with adjacent and underlying non-basaltic rocks. The results also indicate groundwater is largely recharged from rainfall in higher elevations of the basalt provinces, with variable rainfall inputs to groundwater from lower elevation and rivers along flow paths. Groundwater-surface water interactions show several chemical signatures linking groundwater to springs, tributary rivers and the Burdekin River. Results from the Upper Burdekin Hydrogeochemistry Survey for the MBP and NBP have been plotted and mapped with initial interpretations presented below. Further detailed interpretation of this hydrogeochemistry data will be the focus of future publications. This data release is part in a series of staged outputs from the EFTF program. Relevant data, information and images are available through the Geoscience Australia website.

  • <p>The outcrop extent of the McBride Basalt Province, selected from the Queensland Detailed Surface Geology vector polygon mapping, March 2017. <p>© State of Queensland (Department of Natural Resources and Mines) 2017 Creative Commons Attribution

  • This data release presents regional scale groundwater contours developed for the Upper Burdekin Groundwater Project in North Queensland, conducted as part of Exploring for the Future (EFTF), an Australian Government funded geoscience data and information acquisition program. The four-year (2016-20) program focused on better understanding the potential mineral, energy and groundwater resources in northern Australia. The Upper Burdekin Groundwater Project is a collaborative study between Geoscience Australia and the Queensland Government. It focuses on basalt groundwater resources in two geographically separate areas: the Nulla Basalt Province (NBP) in the south and the McBride Basalt Province (MBP) in the north. This data release includes separate, regional-scale groundwater contour datasets for the Nulla and McBride basalt provinces developed by Geoscience Australia in: Cook, S. B. & Ransley, T. R., 2020. Exploring for the Future—Groundwater level interpretations for the McBride and Nulla basalt provinces: Upper Burdekin region, North Queensland. Geoscience Australia, Canberra, http://pid.geoscience.gov.au/dataset/ga/135439. As detailed in that document, the groundwater contours were drawn by hand based on: - Groundwater levels from monitoring bores measured mostly on 17 February 2019 following extensive rainfall. - Surface topography. - Surface water features (rivers and springs). - Remote sensing data. The inferred groundwater contours were used in various Upper Burdekin Groundwater Project components to frame hydrogeological discussions. It is important to note that they were drawn following a wet period; groundwater contours are temporally variable and those presented in this data release therefore only represent part of the regional groundwater flow system.

  • The Upper Burdekin Basalt extents web service delivers province extents, detailed geology, spring locations and inferred regional groundwater contours for the formations of the Nulla and McBride Basalts. This work has been carried out as part of Geoscience Australia's Exploring for the Future program.

  • The Upper Burdekin Basalt extents web service delivers province extents, detailed geology, spring locations and inferred regional groundwater contours for the formations of the Nulla and McBride Basalts. This work has been carried out as part of Geoscience Australia's Exploring for the Future program.

  • This technical report details the methods and results the drilling programs of the Upper Burdekin Groundwater Project conducted as part of Exploring for the Future (EFTF)—an eight year, $225 million Australian Government funded geoscience data and information acquisition program focused on better understanding the potential mineral, energy and groundwater resources across Australia. This report was written by Queensland Government collaborators in the Department of Environment and Science, and is published here as supplied to Geoscience Australia at the conclusion of the project. The drilling program itself was conducted by the Department of Environment and Science as part of the Upper Burdekin Groundwater Project. A total of 17 holes were drilled in 2017-18 at 13 sites with a total combined depth of 943.2 metres. These comprise selected locations across both the Nulla Basalt Province and McBride Basalt Province. A network of 15 monitoring bores were constructed with two test holes backfilled and decommissioned.

  • This report presents key results of groundwater barometric response function development and interpretation from the Upper Burdekin Groundwater Project in North Queensland, conducted as part of Exploring for the Future (EFTF)—an eight year, $225 million Australian Government funded geoscience data and information acquisition program focused on better understanding the potential mineral, energy and groundwater resources across Australia. The Upper Burdekin Groundwater Project is a collaborative study between Geoscience Australia and the Queensland Government. It focuses on basalt groundwater resources in two geographically separate areas: the Nulla Basalt Province (NBP) in the south and the McBride Basalt Province (MBP) in the north. The NBP and MBP basalt aquifers are heterogeneous, fractured, vesicular systems. This report assesses how water levels in monitoring bores in the NBP and MBP respond to barometric pressure changes to evaluate the degree of formation confinement. The main process used to evaluate water level response to barometric pressure in this study is based on barometric efficiency (BE). The BE of a formation is calculated by dividing the change in monitoring bore water level by the causative barometric pressure change. Both parameters are expressed in the same units, so BE will typically be some fraction between zero and one. BE is not necessarily constant over time; the way BE changes following a theoretical step change in barometric pressure can be described using a barometric response function (BRF). BRFs were calculated in the time domain and plotted as BE against time lag for interpretation. The BRF shape was used to assess the degree of formation confinement. Although there is some uncertainty due to monitoring bore construction issues (including long effective screens) and potentially air or gas trapped in the saturated zone, all BRFs in the current project are interpreted to indicate unconfined conditions. This finding is supported by the identification of recharge at many monitoring bores through hydrograph analysis in other EFTF project components. We conclude that formations are likely to be unconfined at many project monitoring bores assessed in this study.