Easier access to groundwater dataset provides a well of information

10 March 2017

Geoscience Australia has collaborated with the Bureau of Meteorology to make its groundwater hydrochemistry data available via the web-based mapping portal Australian Groundwater Explorer.

Groundwater is an essential water resource for many urban and rural communities and industries in Australia. Incorporating Geoscience Australia's hydrochemistry data into the Explorer helps to ensure consistent data is used to inform a range of water resources management decisions and future scientific research.

Through the Explorer, policy makers, water managers, researchers, industry and local communities can access data collected as part of Geoscience Australia's work to support mineral and groundwater exploration efforts.

The dataset includes information such as field and physical measurements, major and minor ions, and isotopes data. This is used by Geoscience Australia and others to better understand where groundwater comes from, its age, groundwater-surface water interactions, and whether it can be used for drinking, irrigation, or stock and domestic use.

Geoscience Australia's groundwater hydrochemistry dataset is just one of many that have been made available through the Explorer. The Explorer brings together state and territory groundwater information in an Australia-wide context.

The hydrochemistry dataset incorporates a wide range of groundwater data, including more than 850 000 bore locations and logs, in addition to contextual datasets such as surface geology, sedimentary basins, landscape characteristics, and some groundwater level data.  Particularly useful hydrochemistry data is available for the Surat, Bowen, and Great Artesian Basins, and the Cannington, Paterson, Murchison and Kingoonya regions across New South Wales, Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

The Australian Groundwater Explorer is available from the Bureau of Meteorology's website and does not require specialised software. Users can pan and zoom using the interactive map, tailor search information for their area, view bore logs and aquifers in 3D, or download tables and graphs

Geoscience Australia research into groundwater hydrochemistry is ongoing. As part of its four-year geoscience data and information collection programme, Exploring for the Future, Geoscience Australia is undertaking a multi-year survey that aims to understand the origin and evolution of groundwater resources and mineral exploration in northern Australia.

Scientific sampling of water from a groundwater bore
Groundwater sampling from the Bellevue Bore, Queensland located in the Surat Basin

Further Information