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  • 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 web service provides access to groundwater raster products for the Upper Burdekin region, including: inferred relative groundwater recharge potential derived from weightings assigned to qualitative estimates of relative permeability based on mapped soil type and surface geology; Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) used to map vegetation with potential access to groundwater in the basalt provinces, and; base surfaces of basalt inferred from sparse available data.

  • This is a raster representing the base surface of the McBride Basalt Province, inferred from sparse data available, dominated by private water bore records. This interpretation was conducted by a hydrogeologist from Geoscience Australia. Caveats • This is just one model, based on sparse data and considerable palaeotopographic interpretation • This model relies on the input datasets being accurate. However it is noted that substantial uncertainty exists both in the location of private bores and the use of drillers’ logs for identifying stratigraphic contacts. • The location of palaeothalwegs is imprecise, and often it is only indicative of the presence of a palaeovalley. • The purpose of this model is for visualisation purposes, so should not be considered a definitive depth prediction dataset.

  • This grid dataset is an estimation of the relative surface potential for recharge within the Nulla Basalt Province. This process combined numerous factors together as to highlight the areas likely to have higher potential for recharge to occur. Soil permeability and surface geology are the primary inputs. Vegetation and slope were excluded from consideration, as these were considered to add too much complexity. Furthermore, this model does not include rainfall intensity – although this is known to vary spatially through average rainfall grids, this model is a depiction of the ground ability for recharge to occur should a significant rainfall event occur in each location. The relative surface potential recharge presented is estimated through a combination of soil and geological factors, weighting regions that are considered likely to have greater potential for recharge (e.g. younger basalts, vent-proximal facies, and highly permeable soils). Near-surface permeability of soil layers has been considered as a quantified input to the ability for water to infiltrate soil strata. It was hypothesised that locations proximal to volcanic vents would be preferential recharge sites, due to deeply penetrative columnar jointing. This suggestion is based on observations in South Iceland, where fully-penetrating columnar joint sets are more prevalent in proximal facies compared to distal facies in South Iceland (Bergh & Sigvaldson 1991). To incorporate this concept, preferential recharge sites are assumed to be within the polygons of vent-proximal facies as derived from detailed geological mapping datasets. Remaining geology has been categorised to provide higher potential recharge through younger lava flows. As such, a ranking between geological units has been used to provide the variation in potential recharge estimates. <b>Reference</b> Bergh, S. G., & Sigvaldason, G. E. (1991). Pleistocene mass-flow deposits of basaltic hyaloclastite on a shallow submarine shelf, South Iceland. Bulletin of Volcanology, 53(8), 597-611. doi:10.1007/bf00493688

  • This web service provides access to groundwater raster products for the Upper Burdekin region, including: inferred relative groundwater recharge potential derived from weightings assigned to qualitative estimates of relative permeability based on mapped soil type and surface geology; Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) used to map vegetation with potential access to groundwater in the basalt provinces, and; base surfaces of basalt inferred from sparse available data.

  • 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.

  • 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 report presents key results of groundwater level interpretations 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. This report interprets groundwater levels measured in both provinces by Geoscience Australia and the Queensland Government to provide recommendations for resource management. The NBP and MBP basalt aquifers are heterogeneous, fractured, vesicular systems. Several lava flows are mapped at surface in both provinces, and the degree of hydraulic connectivity between these flows is unclear. Although there was some uncertainty due to monitoring well construction issues, barometric efficiency analyses from supporting project documents suggest that the basalts of the NBP and MBP were unconfined where monitored during the EFTF project. That finding generally matches observations presented here. Longer term groundwater hydrographs suggest that groundwater levels have been declining in the NBP and MBP following major flooding in 2010-2011 related to one of the strongest La Niña events on record. Groundwater levels are yet to decline to pre-flood elevations in places. Importantly, these longer term hydrographs set the project in context: the EFTF monitoring period is only a small fraction of a much longer-functioning, dynamic groundwater system. Nulla Basalt Province The NBP is elongated east-west, and is situated entirely within the Burdekin River catchment. Volcanic vents in the west identify that area as the main extrusive centre. Regionally, groundwater migrates through the basalts of the NBP from the western high ground towards the Burdekin River in the east. Although lava flows of the NBP reach the Burdekin River, direct groundwater discharge in this area has not yet been proven. However, groundwater does discharge to various springs and surface watercourses in the NBP that are known tributaries of the Burdekin River. Despite the presence of many registered extraction bores, no clear signs of pumping were observed in groundwater hydrographs from the NBP during the EFTF monitoring period. Water levels in many bores responded to major rainfall events, ranging from a simple change in declining hydrograph slope to a water level increase of ~6.8 m in the central west. While some responses could have been induced by loading, electrical conductivity loggers and the extent of water level rise showed that many were clearly caused by recharge. At nested monitoring locations, groundwater levels remained commensurate with downward flow potentials throughout the EFTF monitoring period. McBride Basalt Province The MBP is approximately circular in plan, with volcanic vents present in a north-northeast trending band through the province centre. Lava flows extend away from the high ground of the province centre towards lower ground near the edges. In part due to its geometry, the MBP is situated within four river catchments; only surface water landing in the east flows into the Burdekin River. Regionally, groundwater migrates through the basalts of the MBP from the central high ground radially towards the edges. Direct groundwater discharge from the MBP basalts into the Burdekin River has been shown in this project. Similarly to the NBP, groundwater is also known to discharge to numerous springs and surface watercourses in the MBP. Water levels in many bores responded to major rainfall events. Responses ranged from a change in declining hydrograph slope to a water level increase of ~6.8 m in the southeast. While some responses could have been induced by loading, the extent of water level rise showed that others were clearly caused by recharge. No nested monitoring locations were installed for the EFTF project, so vertical head gradients are currently unknown. Although there are numerous registered extraction bores in the MBP, groundwater level response to pumping was only definitively identified in the east in bore RN12010016. However, several registered bores with high estimated yields have been installed in the northeast since EFTF fieldwork completion. It is possible that these higher yielding extraction bores may induce visible drawdown in monitoring bores in the future. Their high estimated yields may be associated with lava tubes; features not reported in the literature reviewed for this project for the NBP, but identified at surface and potentially in several Queensland Government bores drilled in the MBP. Conclusions and recommendations The Upper Burdekin Groundwater Project has provided abundant information on various aspects of the hydrogeology of the Nulla and McBride basalt provinces. General groundwater flow processes are understood at a regional scale for the EFTF monitoring period, but more detailed investigations and longer term monitoring are required to fully evaluate local conditions. One of the main observations of this study are the long term groundwater level declines in both the NBP and MBP following the 2010-2011 La Niña-associated floods. Groundwater levels are yet to reduce to pre-flood elevations in places, showing that the EFTF monitoring period represents only a small fraction of a much longer-functioning, dynamic groundwater system. It is unclear what, if any, contribution groundwater extraction has made to regional water level declines. Numerous correlations were assessed between groundwater hydrograph characteristics and potentially influencing factors, but the results were mostly inconclusive. There is uncertainty in hydraulic connectivity across lava flow boundaries and between intra-lava flow aquifers. Although interesting groundwater processes were identified at many bores, at the current bore spacing it is not generally possible to interpolate between locations with any certainty. Knowledge gaps and suggestions for further investigation are recorded in Section 5 of the report. The gaps identified should assist planning of future work to inform: - Further characterisation of groundwater resources. - Protection of groundwater dependent ecosystems. - Appropriate groundwater resource management.

  • This report presents groundwater levels results 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. This report describes a data release of water levels measured in monitoring bores in both provinces by Geoscience Australia during the EFTF project. It includes: - A full description of how water levels in metres relative to Australian Height Datum (m AHD; where zero m AHD is an approximation of mean sea level) were calculated from manual dips and electronic dataloggers for this project. - A series of tables in Appendix A containing sufficient information for each bore and datalogger file to reproduce the water levels reported in Appendix B and Appendix C. - A series of hydrographs in Appendix B showing how water levels (in m AHD) interpreted from manual dips and datalogger files varied during the EFTF project. - A series of electronic files in Appendix C that include (i) Data files from dataloggers in CSV file format that can be used with the information contained in this data release to regenerate the water levels shown on hydrographs in Appendix B, and (ii) Data files in CSV file format reporting the final water levels used to generate the hydrographs in Appendix B. This data release report does not include hydrograph interpretation, which is undertaken in detail 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.

  • The WOfS summary statistic represents, for each pixel, the percentage of time that water is detected at the surface relative to the total number of clear observations. Due to the 25-m by 25-m pixel size of Landsat data, only features greater than 25m by 25m are detected and only features covering multiple pixels are consistently detected. The WOfS summary statistic was produced over the McBride and Nulla Basalt provinces for the entire period of available data (1987 to 2018). Pixels were polygonised and classified in order to visually enhance key data in the imagery. Areas depicted in the dataset have been exaggerated to enable visibility.