Hydrochemical evolution and groundwater flow processes in the Galilee and Eromanga basins, Great Artesian Basin, Australia: A multivariate statistical approach

Moya, Claudio, Raiber, Matthias, Taulis, Mauricio, & Cox, Malcolm (2015) Hydrochemical evolution and groundwater flow processes in the Galilee and Eromanga basins, Great Artesian Basin, Australia: A multivariate statistical approach. Science of The Total Environment, 508, pp. 411-426.

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Abstract

The Galilee and Eromanga basins are sub-basins of the Great Artesian Basin (GAB). In this study, a multivariate statistical approach (hierarchical cluster analysis, principal component analysis and factor analysis) is carried out to identify hydrochemical patterns and assess the processes that control hydrochemical evolution within key aquifers of the GAB in these basins.

The results of the hydrochemical assessment are integrated into a 3D geological model (previously developed) to support the analysis of spatial patterns of hydrochemistry, and to identify the hydrochemical and hydrological processes that control hydrochemical variability. In this area of the GAB, the hydrochemical evolution of groundwater is dominated by evapotranspiration near the recharge area resulting in a dominance of the Na–Cl water types. This is shown conceptually using two selected cross-sections which represent discrete groundwater flow paths from the recharge areas to the deeper parts of the basins. With increasing distance from the recharge area, a shift towards a dominance of carbonate (e.g. Na–HCO3 water type) has been observed. The assessment of hydrochemical changes along groundwater flow paths highlights how aquifers are separated in some areas, and how mixing between groundwater from different aquifers occurs elsewhere controlled by geological structures, including between GAB aquifers and coal bearing strata of the Galilee Basin. The results of this study suggest that distinct hydrochemical differences can be observed within the previously defined Early Cretaceous–Jurassic aquifer sequence of the GAB. A revision of the two previously recognised hydrochemical sequences is being proposed, resulting in three hydrochemical sequences based on systematic differences in hydrochemistry, salinity and dominant hydrochemical processes.

The integrated approach presented in this study which combines different complementary multivariate statistical techniques with a detailed assessment of the geological framework of these sedimentary basins, can be adopted in other complex multi-aquifer systems to assess hydrochemical evolution and its geological controls.

Impact and interest:

6 citations in Scopus
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5 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 79940
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Galilee Basin, Eromanga Basin, Great Artesian Basin, Multivariate Statistical Analysis, Gas, Hydrochemistry, Groundwater, Aquifier Connectivity
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.11.099
ISSN: 00489697
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > Institutes > Institute for Future Environments
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: 2014 Elsevier B.V.
Deposited On: 13 Jan 2015 00:53
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2015 23:26

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