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Three-dimensional geological modelling and multivariate statistical analysis of water chemistry data to analyse and visualise aquifer structure and groundwater composition in the Wairau Plain, Marlborough District, New Zealand

Raiber, Matthias, White, Paul, Daughney, Christopher J., Tschritter, Constanze, Davidson, Peter, & Bainbridge, Sophie E. (2012) Three-dimensional geological modelling and multivariate statistical analysis of water chemistry data to analyse and visualise aquifer structure and groundwater composition in the Wairau Plain, Marlborough District, New Zealand. Journal of Hydrology, 436-437(May), pp. 13-34.

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Abstract

Concerns regarding groundwater contamination with nitrate and the long-term sustainability of groundwater resources have prompted the development of a multi-layered three dimensional (3D) geological model to characterise the aquifer geometry of the Wairau Plain, Marlborough District, New Zealand. The 3D geological model which consists of eight litho-stratigraphic units has been subsequently used to synthesise hydrogeological and hydrogeochemical data for different aquifers in an approach that aims to demonstrate how integration of water chemistry data within the physical framework of a 3D geological model can help to better understand and conceptualise groundwater systems in complex geological settings. Multivariate statistical techniques(e.g. Principal Component Analysis and Hierarchical Cluster Analysis) were applied to groundwater chemistry data to identify hydrochemical facies which are characteristic of distinct evolutionary pathways and a common hydrologic history of groundwaters. Principal Component Analysis on hydrochemical data demonstrated that natural water-rock interactions, redox potential and human agricultural impact are the key controls of groundwater quality in the Wairau Plain. Hierarchical Cluster Analysis revealed distinct hydrochemical water quality groups in the Wairau Plain groundwater system. Visualisation of the results of the multivariate statistical analyses and distribution of groundwater nitrate concentrations in the context of aquifer lithology highlighted the link between groundwater chemistry and the lithology of host aquifers. The methodology followed in this study can be applied in a variety of hydrogeological settings to synthesise geological, hydrogeological and hydrochemical data and present them in a format readily understood by a wide range of stakeholders. This enables a more efficient communication of the results of scientific studies to the wider community.

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6 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 49604
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: 3D geological modelling, multivariate statistical analysis, hydrochemistry, nitrate, Wairau Plain groundwater, New Zealand
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2012.01.045
ISSN: 0022-1694
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EARTH SCIENCES (040000) > GEOCHEMISTRY (040200) > Inorganic Geochemistry (040202)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EARTH SCIENCES (040000) > GEOLOGY (040300) > Sedimentology (040310)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EARTH SCIENCES (040000) > GEOLOGY (040300) > Geology not elsewhere classified (040399)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Hydrology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Hydrology, [VOL 436-437, ISSUE May, (2012)] DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2012.01.045
Deposited On: 11 Apr 2012 09:26
Last Modified: 11 Apr 2012 09:27

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