Use of 3D visualisation to enhance groundwater stable isotope data and its interpretation, Lockyer Valley, southeast Queensland
Cox, Malcolm, Raiber, Matthias, Hawke, Amy, & James, Allan (2011) Use of 3D visualisation to enhance groundwater stable isotope data and its interpretation, Lockyer Valley, southeast Queensland. In 11th Australasian Environmental Isotope Conference and 4th Australasian Hydrogeology, 12th - 14th July 2011, Rydges Tradewinds, Cairns, QLD. (Unpublished)
The use of stable isotope ratios δ18O and δ2H are well established in assessment of groundwater systems and their hydrology. The conventional approach is based on x/y plots and relation to various MWL’s, and plots of either ratio against parameters such as Clor EC. An extension of interpretation is the use of 2D maps and contour plots, and 2D hydrogeological vertical sections. An enhancement of presentation and interpretation is the production of “isoscapes”, usually as 2.5D surface projections. We have applied groundwater isotopic data to a 3D visualisation, using the alluvial aquifer system of the Lockyer Valley. The 3D framework is produced in GVS (Groundwater Visualisation System).
This format enables enhanced presentation by displaying the spatial relationships and allowing interpolation between “data points” i.e. borehole screened zones where groundwater enters.
The relative variations in the δ18O and δ2H values are similar in these ambient temperature systems. However, δ2H better reflects hydrological processes, whereas δ18O also reflects aquifer/groundwater exchange reactions. The 3D model has the advantage that it displays borehole relations to spatial features, enabling isotopic ratios and their values to be associated with, for example, bedrock groundwater mixing, interaction between aquifers, relation to stream recharge, and to near-surface and return irrigation water evaporation. Some specific features are also shown, such as zones of leakage of deeper groundwater (in this case with a GAB signature).
Variations in source of recharging water at a catchment scale can be displayed. Interpolation between bores is not always possible depending on numbers and spacing, and by elongate configuration of the alluvium. In these cases, the visualisation uses discs around the screens that can be manually expanded to test extent or intersections. Separate displays are used for each of δ18O and δ2H and colour coding for isotope values.
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