Thirty-five years of groundwater modelling: from regional aquifer systems, to impacts of mining, CSG and nuclear testing

Dr Lloyd Townley – Principal Environmental and Water Engineer, CDM Smith, Perth WA

Whenever we need to predict the behaviour of hydrogeological systems, at almost any scale, there are few alternatives to modelling.  Modelling has limitations, but modelling provides a framework for integrating what we know and for testing hypotheses. Modelling allows us to predict the behaviour of systems when they are stressed significantly more or differently than in the past.

In this seminar, we will skim the history of groundwater modelling, in the context of the evolution of hardware and software, trends in education and training, and the demands of end users (clients, regulators and the community). Examples will be drawn from the presenter’s personal experiences simulating regional groundwater systems (e.g. the Perth Urban Water Balance Study in the mid 80s), systematically exploring the nature of lake-aquifer interaction, predicting the consequences of underground nuclear testing (at Mururoa), and working with the mining and CSG industries.

Observations will be made about the role and reputation of modelling, and about what might be needed for our industry to do better in the future.

About the speaker

Lloyd Townley is a civil and environmental engineer, with degrees from the University of Sydney, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Massachusetts institute of Technology (MIT) and the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM). Lloyd has worked as an academic (UWA), as a research scientist (CSIRO), as a consultant (SMEC, Townley & Associates, NTEC Environmental Technology, CDM Smith), as an entrepreneur in web-based technologies (Biz E Community, Ubicalcs) and in the mining industry (Mineral Sands, Rio Tinto). He has worked for clients in Government and industry, with and on behalf of community consultative committees, and as a member of Panels and Commissions of Inquiry.

Lloyd is known as a “groundwater modeller”, as the developer of AQUIFEM-1, AQUIFEM-N and AQUIFEM-P (starting before the release of MODFLOW and FEFLOW), and as a researcher in three areas:  model calibration and prediction uncertainty, surface water – groundwater interaction, and the response of aquifers to periodic forcing. For more than 20 years he has worked with the mining industry, in mine site rehabilitation research, leading the preparation of EISs, in integrated mine water management, and in mine automation (Mine of the FutureTM).  A common theme in his work has been the desire to predict the behaviour of uncertain hydrological systems.

Come Join Us

11th November 2014

URS Corp

Level 6, 1 Southbank Boulevard,

Southbank, Melbourne

5:30 pm

Leave a Comment

Let us know your thoughts on this post but remember to place nicely folks!

You must be logged in to post a comment.