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Title: Groundwater response to heavy precipitation.
Authors: Waring, CL
Bradd, J
Hankin, S
Issue Date: Apr-2003
Publisher: Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
Abstract: An investigation of the groundwater response to heavy rainfall at Lucas Heights Science and Technology Centre (LHSTC) is required under the conditions of Facility Licence F0001 for the ANSTO's Replacement Research Reactor. Groundwater continuous hydrograph monitoring has been used for this purpose. Hydrograph data from four boreholes are presented showing the rainfall recorded during the same period for comparison. The drought conditions have provided only limited cases where groundwater responded to a rainfall event. The characteristic response was local caused by saturated soil contributing water directly to the borehole and the falling head as the water was redistributed into the aquifer in a few hours. Hydrograph data from borehole near the head of a gully showed that groundwater flow from the plateau to the gully produced a peak a few days after the rainfall event and that the water level returned to its original level after about 10 days. The hydrograph data are consistent with an imperfect multi-layer groundwater flow regime developed from earlier seismic and geophysical data with decreasing rate of flow in each layer due to decreasing hydraulic conductivity with depth. The contrast in hydraulic conductivity between the thin permeable soil layer and the low permeable sandstone forms an effective barrier to vertical flow.
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