[Cite as http://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/LP150100395]
Researchers Prof Craig Simmons; Prof Dr Peter Cook; Dr Shawan Dogramaci
Brief description This project aims to improve the estimation of the age of groundwater. Understanding groundwater age is critical for sustainable management and environmental tracers are increasingly used for this purpose. However, groundwater samples are inevitably mixtures of water of different ages. Since for most tracers the relationship between tracer concentration and age is not linear, different tracers can produce different mean ages for the sample. This project aims to determine whether it is possible to determine moments of the groundwater age distributions from measurements made with different environmental tracers. The project also aims to examine whether the degree of heterogeneity within the aquifer can be determined from the disparity between ages obtained with different tracers. This project aims to tackle the largest problem with using groundwater chemistry to estimate water age – that mixing processes in the subsurface are never known. Solving this problem will allow much more accurate estimates of groundwater velocity and aquifer recharge rates. The groundwater industry contributes an estimated $6.8 billion per annum to the Australian economy, and this project will contribute to the sustainable management of the groundwater resource.
Funding Amount $332,767
Funding Scheme Linkage Projects