Upper Burdekin

Due to the complexity of this document and the niche scientific target audience, no alternative description has been provided. Please email Geoscience Australia at clientservices@ga.gov.au for an alternative description

Map of the Upper Burdekin LiDAR survey area in northern Queensland. The survey was undertaken to better understand the groundwater resources in the region and help guide future developments in the area.

The Upper Burdekin region is located west of Townsville, in central eastern Queensland. The McBride and Nulla basalt provinces contain groundwater aquifers that support domestic and stock water use, with some minor irrigation. They also support groundwater-dependent ecosystems and contribute baseflow to the Burdekin River and its tributaries. However, the hydrogeological characteristics of the study area are poorly understood. An enhanced understanding of the groundwater system will assist in managing and facilitating increased demand for groundwater resources in the area.

Geoscience Australia in partnership with the Queensland Government Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and Department of Environment and Science is undertook an investigation of groundwater systems of the Upper Burdekin region.

The main objectives of the project were to:

  • Understand and document the hydrogeology and groundwater characteristics of the aquifers in the Nulla and McBride basalt provinces and their interactions with rivers and groundwater-dependent ecosystems;
  • Collect new baseline information including geological, hydrogeological, and geophysical data to map and characterise the groundwater systems.

Outputs

New airborne LiDAR elevation survey data is available to download through the Geoscience Australia’s Elvis data portal website.

Other data releases and products include:

  • Basic and interpreted data including:
    • borehole geophysical logs.
    • surface geophysical data.
    • investigative drilling lithology logs.
    • groundwater, surface water and spring water quality.
    • detailed digital elevation data in targeted areas.
    • time-series groundwater level.
    • drill core material properties (chemical, physical).
  • Reports:
    • Technical report outlining the hydrogeology, hydrodynamics (including surface water/groundwater connectivity), a conceptual understanding of the system and an assessment of the groundwater resource potential for the region.
    • Short synthesis report documenting the key findings and recommendations from the project.
    • Scientific papers describing novel approaches, methodologies and key results.

New data acquisition

The project has carried out of the following data collection activities during 2017-2019 including:

  • Investigative groundwater drilling;
  • Groundwater, surface water and spring sampling for hydrochemistry; and
  • Groundwater level measurements.

Collaborations

  • The key stakeholders for this project included North Queensland Dry Tropics, James Cook University Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research, Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and Department of Environment and Science, Queensland Department of National Parks, Sports and Racing, Charters Towers Regional Council, Tablelands Regional Council and local landholders.

Related information

Due to the complexity of this document and the niche scientific target audience, no alternative description has been provided. Please email Geoscience Australia at clientservices@ga.gov.au for an alternative description

The image shows the dramatic contrast between the best elevation data previously available, and the newly acquired detailed LiDAR data. The data is detailed enough to identify small drainage lines leading to springs, the surface texture of the exposed rock and even farm tracks.

Due to the complexity of this document and the niche scientific target audience, no alternative description has been provided. Please email Geoscience Australia at clientservices@ga.gov.au for an alternative description

The LiDAR data reveals details of the land surface that are difficult to detect using traditional imagery. This image shows where and how lava flowed over the landscape throughout the past four million years. For example, “Inverted palaeodrainage” lines are a result of lava that has flowed down rivers that existed at the time of volcanic eruption. This is important to know from a groundwater perspective as beneath these features the original river sediments may be preserved and contain groundwater supplies. Base map a. source: Esri, DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, Earthstar Geographics, CNES/Airbus DS, USDA, USGS, AeroGRID, IGN, and the GIS User Community.