Archive for 2012

WA 2012 AGM and Student Night

It’s the most wonderful time of the year — time for the National and Western Australian chapter’s annual general meeting and student night.  Come along and devour a delicious free meal, learn about what’s been going on last year and prospects for 2013, vote for next year’s officers, and be entertained and educated by research presentations.

The event will be on Monday 26 November 2012 from 5:15 pm to 8 pm.  The venue is City West Reception Centre, 45 Plaistowe Mews, West Perth, 6005. A map is shown below; free parking permits are available on the night for parking underneath City West / Scitech.

Please see the attached AGM and Student Night Agenda 2012.

To register, please email Mariajose Romero-Segura at to ensure your place at the table.
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 Abstracts for Student Presentations:

Mike Bartlett, UWA MSc Hydrogeology:  Water and Salt Dynamics in Arid Zone Soils Using HYDRUS‑1D

This study investigates the unsaturated/saturated water and salt dynamics of soil profiles of various material types typically found in arid zone environments such as the Wheatbelt of Western Australia. HYDRUS-1D modelling software was used to simulate the water storage and salt accumulation characteristics of various soil materials in response to various stimuli including precipitation, evaporation, evapotranspiration, plant root uptake and freshwater inundation events.

The study investigates the comparative plant root zone salt accumulation for various soil types (sand, silty loam, sandy clay and clay) in response to simulated prolonged current climatic conditions. The relative improvement in root zone salt concentrations in response to freshwater surface inundation and subsequent flushing of the salt affected profile is also investigated. Finally the effect of salt diffusion between saline and fresh water in the saturated profile was investigated using a literature derived value for the salt diffusion coefficient.

The results of this study indicate that the accumulation of salt in the root zone is much greater for the sand and silty loam profile than for the sandy clay and clay profiles. Modelling results also indicate that the improvement in root zone salt concentrations following a freshwater surface inundation event are much greater for the sand and silty loam profiles than for the sandy clay and clay profiles. The results of salt diffusion modelling indicate that soil type does not significantly affect the degree to which underlying saline groundwater will diffuse salt into overlying freshwater. Therefore this process is unlikely to influence the effectiveness of salt flushing achieved by freshwater inundation.

Michael Carroll, UWA MSc Hydrogeology: The influence of palaeochannel morphology on the hydrogeology of the Solomon CID – a spatial analysis application

The Solomon CID is a palaeochannel aquifer system coincident with an iron ore mine under construction. The aquifer will be dewatered, and this research aimed to develop new tools for analysing this type of aquifer system.

Surfaces representing the top of bedrock, Lower CID and Upper CID were generated from resource exploration data. Spatial analysis of the surfaces resulted in mathematical equations representing the morphological features of the channel’s aquifers. The influence of channel morphology on hydraulic conductivity was tested. No clear correlations were determined from the study, although the techniques developed have potential for discrete modelling of water balance components within a palaeochannel or strip aquifer system.



IAH Victorian Chapter Christmas Party and Progress of the Murray Darling Basin Plan – Victoria’s Perspective Presentation

The Murray Darling Basin Plan will see the biggest changes to water management in the Basin since Federation. The Basin Plan aims to deliver a “healthy working basin” in which “the natural ecosystem has been altered by the use of water for human benefit, but in which the altered system retains its ecological integrity while continuing to support strong communities and a productive economy”. The development of the Basin Plan has been fraught; understandable when attempting to bring together four state governments, one territory government, the federal government plus farmers, environmentalists, community groups and, of course, various scientific viewpoints. Despite the many challenges the Draft Plan is in its final stages of preparation by the Murray Darling Basin Authority before submission to the Australian Parliament. Dr Doolan will provide a high level overview of the process that has gone into the development of the Victorian input to the plan, and response to the current version.

About the speaker

Dr Jane Doolan is the Deputy Secretary Water, Victorian Department of Sustainability. Dr Doolan is responsible for providing policy advice to government on sustainable water resource management, including issues such as rural and urban water supply and security, national water reform and oversight of major state projects and programs. Dr Doolan has over 20 years of experience working in environmental management, driving key policy initiatives in river health, environmental water allocations and catchment management, both at state and federal level.

Come join us

Date: 11 December 2012

Time: 5:30pm meet and greet for a 6pm start. Due to security you need to arrive by 6pm.

The presentation will be followed by Christmas drinks and food on the rooftop.

Location: SKM (Level 16, 452 Flinders Street, Melbourne)

No need to RSVP

Click the link below for a PDF copy of the presentation

Murray – Darling Basin Plan – Victoria’s Perspective

Mineral sequestration of carbon dioxide in basalt: a pre-injection overview of the CarbFix project

This entry is a cross-post for the Geological Society of Australia.  The talk is likely to be of great interest to hydrogeologists!

The GSA-WA Division is hosting a talk on 7 November 2012 at the Irish Club of WA, 61 Townshend Rd, Subiaco.  The speaker will be Domenik Wolff-Boenisch  from Curtin University, and he will be presenting results from a carbon sequestration trial in Iceland.

Drinks will be available from the bar, and there will be time both before and after the talk to socialise. The meeting will commence at 5.30 pm for a 6.00 pm start for the meeting and talk.

Venue location link:

Irish Club of WA:


Mineral sequestration of carbon dioxide in basalt: a pre-injection overview of the CarbFix project
Domenik Wolff-Boenisch

Curtin University of Technology, Kent Street , Bentley, WA 6102
Carbonate minerals provide a long-lasting, thermodynamically stable and environmentally benign carbon storage host. Mineral storage is in most cases the end product of geological storage of CO2.

The degree to which mineral storage is significant and the rate at which mineralisation occurs depend on the rock type and injection methods. The rates could be enhanced by injecting CO2 fully dissolved in water into silicate rocks rich in divalent metal cations such as basalts and ultra-mafic rocks.

The CarbFix project ( aims to achieve mineral sequestration of carbon in southwest Iceland.

Domenik will talk about the CarbFix group and its major goals and will give an overview of the latest developments with an emphasis on ongoing geochemical research.

Biographical Notes

Domenik has recently joined Curtin University coming from the University of Iceland where for the last four years he has been the Project Director of the Icelandic partner of the international CarbFix consortium. The CarbFix project is about the capture of CO2 from geothermal activities and its subsequent sequestration into basaltic terrain. Among his responsibilities there, Domenik set-up and directed a high P/T lab for the execution of experiments related to water-rock interactions in the presence of CO2. Prior to that position he was a Research Scientist at UC Riverside and UC Merced in the United States studying the CO2 drawdown capacity of the Higher Himalayas and the biogeochemistry of uranium.

Domenik started his career with a PhD in environmental geochemistry from the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz in 1997 and went on to work as environmental consultant in Spain until 2001. Supported by a European Marie Curie postdoc fellowship, he then moved to his first research stint in Iceland dealing with different aspects of the weathering kinetics of volcanic glasses. These studies have already earned him close to 170 citations. At Curtin he will be responsible for experimental research as well as modelling into key geochemical aspects of geothermal heat extraction from the Perth Basin, such as the scaling potential and the effect of non-compressible formation gases on the fluid chemistry during heat production, heat exchange, and subsequent injection.

Successful outcomes of the Secure Allocation, Future Entitlement (SAFE) project

FREE HYDROGEOLOGICAL DATA – have I got your attention!

Successful outcomes of the Secure Allocation, Future Entitlement (SAFE) project.

Chris McAuley is the Principal Hydrogeologist with the Department of Sustainability and Environment, Victoria.  Over the past 3 years, Chris has led the National Water Commission funded Secure Allocation, Future Entitlement (SAFE) project.  The SAFE project has recommended a revised framework for management of Victoria’s groundwater resources, updated guidance on making groundwater resource share decisions and a program of transition to the revised framework.  The framework is comprised of 20 groundwater catchments in 5 groundwater basins.  The project was supported by 15 engagement workshops, twenty two separate technical and consultation reports, along with over 40 spatial data information products.  This included 3 dimensional (3D) mapping of the water bearing aquifers across the entire State.  The information outputs from the project are freely available.  Come along to find out more.

Come join us

Date: 13 November 2012

Time: 5:30pm meet and greet for a 6pm start

Location: GHD (8/180 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne)

No need to RSVP

Click the link below for a PDF copy of the presentation

Successful outcomes of the SAFE project


Qanats: An old Persian technology in groundwater supply

At the Irish Club, 61 Townshend Rd, Subiaco, Wednesday, 24 October 2012, 5:30pm for 6pm start

Qanats are underground conduits which collect the water from an unconfined aquifer on the slope of a hill and exploit the natural gradient of the land to transport groundwater to the surface. They have been supplying water as one of the main sources of sustainable water for both drinking and agricultural purposes for thousands of years. There are more than 32,000 qanats (more than 250,000 km) some of them still providing water after 2,500 years in Iran now. Continue Reading →

Student Night – Victorian IAH Division

A selection of student talks showcasing the current groundwater research at the universities in Melbourne

Tuesday 2 October

6 pm for a 6.30 pm start

Fritz Loewe Lecture,

Department of Earth Sciences

University of Melbourne

Refreshments provided

Josh Dean

La Trobe University – Influence of vegetation and fire on groundwater chemistry

Alex Atkinson

Monash University – Groundwater-Surface water interaction in an upland catchment

Rachael Wilson

RMIT – Modelling the effects of climate and groundwater pumping in a salinity affected catchment – Barr Creek , northern Victoria

Hong Phuc Vu

University of Melbourne – Bioremediation of thiocyanate at Stawell gold mine


Chair: John Webb – Environmental Geoscience, La Trobe University

Each speaker will have 15 minutes to present, followed by questions from the audience.

Feel free to distribute the attached flyer below

Student Night

Groundwater investigations in palaeovalleys in WA – implications for the mining industry and the environment

The IAH invite all members to attend a jointly sponsored (AIG, GSA, ASEG, AusIMM and IAH) presentation of findings of investigations in to unravelling the hidden groundwater resources of the Paterson and Murchison provinces of Western Australia. Pauline English of Geoscience Australia will discuss the application of diverse techniques including  gravity, AEM, radiometrics, topographic models, drilling, bore installation and water level monitoring, along with isotopic analysis of sampled waters from disclosed aquifers. Continue Reading →

Groundwater investigations in palaeovalleys in WA – implications for the mining industry and the environment

The IAH invite all members to attend a jointly sponsored (AIG, GSA, ASEG, AusIMM and IAH) presentation of findings of investigations in to unravelling the hidden groundwater resources of the Paterson and Murchison provinces of Western Australia. Pauline English of Geoscience Australia will discuss the application of diverse techniques including  gravity, AEM, radiometrics, topographic models, drilling, bore installation and water level monitoring, along with isotopic analysis of sampled waters from disclosed aquifers.


Secure, reliable and accessible water supplies are essential across the whole ofAustralia. Within the extensive arid parts of the country surface water supplies are non-existent and water security is reliant upon groundwater to meet the often competitive requirements of remote communities, the pastoral and mining industries and the environment. Greater understanding and predictability of groundwater resources in these regions is imperative for current and sustainable future water supplies.  Palaeovalleys – sediment-filled old river valleys that exist across the continent – offer a hidden groundwater resource in widespread regions of aridAustralia, including cratonic provinces. Their potential is now being ‘uncovered’ to increase understanding of these distinctive aquifers towards long-term sustainability of their precious groundwater resources.

Work in the Paterson and Murchison provinces of WA to unravel preliminary information about arid zone palaeovalleys – including those obscured beneath desert dunefields – and their groundwater resources has involved application of diverse techniques: gravity, AEM, radiometrics, topographic models, drilling, bore installation and water level monitoring, along with isotopic analysis of sampled waters from disclosed aquifers. These applications were aimed at detecting the presence and distribution of palaeovalley systems and assessing their hydrogeological properties in nominated demonstration studies in regions where information has previously been lacking but where demands for water supplies are increasing. The demonstration studies also aimed to facilitate extrapolation of our new understanding to wider regions and help assess the sustainability of these water resources in the face of competing demands for the future.

About the speaker

Pauline English has been in Geoscience Australia’s Groundwater Group for over 6 years. She was a foundation member of the group, which was charged with the challenge to re-establish a national groundwater research and advice capacity at GA. The group aimed to demonstrate Geoscience Australia’s unique geoscientific role with respect to Australian hydrogeology and national water resource priorities. The groups’ first proposal, the ‘Arid Zone Palaeovalley Groundwater Project’, was approved by the National Water Commission and at the Federal Ministerial level, attracting almost $5 M funding for the 4½ year project. GA was given responsibility to lead and execute the project and to bring together a consortium of state partners in Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Pauline completed a PhD at the Research School of Earth Sciences (RSES), ANU, in 2001, researching Cenozoic Geology and Hydrogeology in central Australia. She originally investigated groundwater as a diagenetic agent but her focus steadily shifted towards researching Cenozoic basins and palaeovalleys as little-known aquifer systems that can contain valuable groundwater resources across inland Australia. During her PhD years she also worked on hydrogeological projects at AGSO. Her earlier background was in igneous and metamorphic geology, including 1st Class Honours for her mapping project in the Victorian Alps.

For the past few years Pauline has dedicated herself to the Palaeovalley Groundwater Project, particularly investigations inWestern Australia. She is happy to share some of her experiences and findings from these recent years in outback regions where little to no previous regional hydrogeological investigations have been undertaken.

Come join us

Pauline will be speaking at the City West Function Centre on Thursday, 27 September from 5:30pm. The event is free to all IAH members, however for catering purposes, registration for the event is required.

To register follow this link

Coal Seam Gas –The Real Water Management Issues Here in NSW

John Ross graduated from the University of NSW in the mid 1970s with a degree in geology and has spent the last 35 years in hydrogeology. His career has spanned water resource, water policy, contaminated site and infrastructure projects both nationally and overseas in Asia. He has worked for the NSW Government, several environmental consultancies and is now working in the Energy industry Sector (the Upstream Gas Division of AGL Energy).

John’s talk at the IAH NSW monthly technical meeting centers around CSG with an insight into fracture stimulation and dewatering requirements associated with releasing gas from the coal seams. It will primarily focus on the water resource and water management issues surrounding CSG exploration and production in NSW, and provide a case history example of AGL’s investigation and monitoring programs in the Hunter Valley . More details at:  IAH NSW Presentation_CSG Water Management

Call for abstracts: 2013 IAH Congress

The 40th International Congress of the IAH will be hosted in Perth between 15 and 20 September, 2013. Themed ‘Solving the Groundwater Challenges of the 21st Century’, the 2013 Congress will provide a showcase for the international groundwater industry.

Globally, the groundwater industry will face substantial challenges this century. These issues need solutions and in many cases groundwater will be key. The Congress will focus on international technical and hydrogeological research and will highlight links to politics, economics, indigenous and western social values.

Continue Reading →