International Association of Hydrogeologists Australia

Groundwater catchment characterisation; Bundaberg integrated hydrogeology/ hydrogeophysics investigation

Tuesday 5 June, 2012

The Australian Society of Exploration Geophysics together with the IAH invite all members to attend a presentation of the findings from a catchment characterisation investigation into the Bundaberg Irrigation Area. More specifically, Geoff Pettifer will discuss how well can we characterise an alluvial / lacustrine / coastal aeolian groundwater system by a fully integrated hydrogeology and geophysics effort.

The answer to this questions was central to a 6 month major study in to the groundwater system of the Bundaberg Irrigation Area(BIA) for Queensland’s Department of Natural Resources, which with a NPV budget of $1.7 million was, in the pre-airborne EM days, arguably the largest integrated hydrogeological, geophysical and drilling project for groundwater resources assessment of a large catchment undertaken in Australia.

The study shows the value of a strong commitment to the innovative use of geophysics through all phases of a groundwater investigation and of providing hydrogeologically relevant parameters and interpretations of the geophysics rather than abstract geophysical parameter models and data.

One of the primary objectives of the study was to acquire sufficient data on the extent and properties of the BIA groundwater system to enable the establishment of a new conceptual and groundwater model of the whole groundwater system and bring rigour to and community confidence in the management of the BIA system.

The project budget and strong client commitment to fully integrated hydrogeology / hydrogeophysics enabled the use of ground resistivity, seismic and mineral industry slimline geophysical logging technology on a scale not usually affordable in groundwater studies. This guided and enhanced a major drilling program of 130 new holes and installation of 99 new monitoring bores.

Modern sequence stratigraphic and petrophysical log analysis techniques applied to the geophysical log data provided a more comprehensive understanding of the hydrogeology, a more realistic conceptual model and provision of the system context of all monitoring bores.

Another primary objective was to systematically gather permeability data by various methods for identification of permeability trends and the geophysical logs and resistivity data proved valuable in achieving this.

Key outcomes were a vastly improved confidence in the scientific understanding by groundwater managers and the user community of the capacity, groundwater users impacts as well as acceptance of the need for better management and conservation, of the BIA groundwater system.

About the speaker

Geoff Pettifer is a Principal – Hydrogeology and Geophysics and Project Director working with GHD. He has over 40 years experience in Australia and overseas in groundwater exploration, hydrogeological investigations and groundwater project management in alluvial, deep sedimentary basin, karst, fractured rock, saline and geothermal environments.

In particular, Geoff has specialised experience in the practical application of geophysics to groundwater, salinity, bore geophysical logging and condition assessment, environmental, mining, geotechnical, resource assessment, and soil mapping projects.

A highlight of Geoff’s career was performing the role of consultant Project Manager for the Bundaberg Groundwater Investigation.

Come join us

Geoff will be speaking at the City West Function Centre on Wednesday, 13 June from 5:30pm. The event will be hosted and fully catered (includes drinks/refreshments and finger food) by the Australian Society of Exploration Geophysics (ASEG) and is free to all ASEG and IAH members, $30 to non-ASEG and non-IAH members.


For catering and name badge purposes all ASEG and IAH members must RSVP to Stephanie Adams by Monday, 10 June as follows:

To: The Secretariat – ASEG WA
PO Box 8463, Perth Business Centre WA 6849 Tel: (08) 9427 0860 Fax: (08) 9427 0861

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