Regional hydrogeological characterisation studies in four coal basins in Queensland, South Australia and Victoria
The increase in coal mining and coal seam gas (CSG) developments across many parts of eastern Australia during the past decade has led to widespread community concerns about the potential impacts of these activities on water resources. Comprehensive baseline knowledge of the regional hydrogeology and groundwater resources of Australia's coal-bearing geological basins is critical for understanding potential impacts on water resources and water-related assets that may be caused by any future CSG or coal mining developments.
Geoscience Australia has undertaken a desktop study to better understand the hydrogeology and groundwater resources of four priority coal-bearing basins. The geological basins that were the focus of this study are not initially part of the Australian Government's Bioregional Assessment Programme. The basins of interest for this project are the:
- Laura Basin, Queensland
- Maryborough Basin, Queensland
- Otway Basin, Victoria and South Australia
- St Vincent Basin, South Australia.
This study has collated, analysed and interpreted existing geological, hydrological and other relevant data such as topographic, geophysical and remotely sensed datasets held by Geoscience Australia and other data custodians, such as state government agencies in Queensland, South Australia and Victoria, and various academic institutions.
This project was commissioned by the Department of the Environment. It is one of a number of projects being undertaken to directly address research priorities identified by the Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development (IESC).
The main objective of this project was to:
- develop an improved knowledge base relating to the hydrogeological and groundwater resource characteristics of four coal-bearing geological basins that are of national strategic interest but are not the subject of initial research being conducted for the Bioregional Assessment Programme.
The main project outcomes are that the IESC:
- Is better informed about water resources and groundwater systems of the four coal basins assessed for this study, including recognising the most important data and knowledge gaps that may limit the extent of current understanding; and
- Can make sound and informed recommendations for future investments (where appropriate) that will address the most critical data and knowledge gaps that exist in these basins.
Additionally, the technical reports will provide relevant state government agencies, natural resource managers, local councils and other interested community members in each study area with access to a comprehensive and informative source of data and information about the geology, hydrogeology and groundwater systems.
The following reports are available for download:
Final technical reports:
- Regional Hydrogeological Characterisation of the Laura Basin, Queensland
- Regional Hydrogeological Characterisation of the Maryborough Basin, Queensland
- Regional Hydrogeological Characterisation of the Otway Basin, Victoria and South Australia
- Regional Hydrogeological Characterisation of the St Vincent Basin, South Australia.
Final summary reports: