International Association of Hydrogeologists Australia

IAH Victoria – JUNE 2020 ONLINE presentation (9/06/2020)


Using Multiple Lines of Evidence to Characterise DNAPL in a Fractured Basalt Aquifer

Presenter: Claire Miller, Golder


Understanding the distribution and migration of dense non-aqueous phase liquids (DNAPL) in the subsurface is a challenge. This becomes even more problematic when the DNAPL has been released in a fractured rock system such as the Newer Volcanics basalt of the northern suburbs of Melbourne.  This presentation presents a number of simple concepts that were used to characterise DNAPL impacts in the fractured basalt aquifer at the former Fitzroy gasworks (the site).  This work indicated that the DNAPL was controlled in its southerly and vertical extent by structural controls in the basalt, was of a high viscosity and variably distributed across the rock profile.  This resulted in a re-evaluation of the practicability of the selected remediation approaches, questioning the need to deploy aggressive source reduction measures. The works, which have been undertaken in response to an Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria issued Clean Up Notice, have been part funded from the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) administered Sustainability Fund.


Claire is a Senior Hydrogeologist at Golder Associates and Fellow of The Geological Society with over thirteen years’ experience in environmental consultancy. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of Cardiff (UK) and a Master of Science in Hydrogeology from Leeds University (UK).  Since working in Australia, Claire has worked as the Lead Hydrogeologist on several long term, large scale projects including a former oil refinery, an active metal smelting facility, several major infrastructure projects and more recently the former Fitzroy Gasworks site.  Her passion lies in the development of robust hydrogeological conceptual site models in relation to groundwater contamination.

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