Browsing by Author "Newborn, D"
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- ItemGroundwater mean residence times of a subtropical barrier sand island(European Geosciences Union, 2020-03-19) Hofmann, H; Newborn, D; Cartwright, I; Cendón, DI; Raiber, MFresh groundwater on barrier islands is affected by changing sea levels and precipitation variability due to climate change and is also vulnerable to anthropogenic processes, such as contamination and groundwater over-abstraction. Constraining groundwater mean residence times (MRTs) and flow paths is essential for understanding and managing these resources. This study uses tritium (3H) and carbon-14 (14C) to determine the MRTs of groundwater along a transect across subtropical North Stradbroke Island, south-east Queensland, Australia. Hydraulic properties, major ion geochemistry and stable isotopes are used to validate residence times and to identify the processes responsible for their variability. 3H activities range from less than 0.01 to 1 TU (tritium units), which are values lower than those of local average rainfall (1.6–2.0 TU). 14C concentrations range from 62.5 to 111 pMC (percent modern carbon). Estimated MRTs determined using lumped parameter models and 3H activities range from 37 to more than 50 years. Recharge occurs over the entire island, and groundwater MRTs generally increase vertically and laterally towards the coastal discharge areas, although no systematic pattern is observed. MRTs estimated from 14C concentrations display similar spatial relationships but have a much greater range (from modern to approximately 5000 years). Water diversion and retention by lower-permeability units in the unsaturated parts of the dune systems are the most likely course for relatively long MRTs to date. The results indicate that the internal structures within the dune systems increase MRTs in the groundwater system and potentially divert flow paths. The structures produce perched aquifer systems that are wide-spread and have a significant influence on regional recharge. The geochemical composition of groundwater remains relatively consistent throughout the island, with the only irregularities attributed to old groundwater stored within coastal peat. The outcomes of this study enhance the understanding of groundwater flow, recharge diversion and inhibition for large coastal sand masses in general, especially for older sand masses that have developed structures from pedogenesis and dune movement. With respect to south-east Queensland, it allows the existing regional groundwater flow model to be refined by incorporating independent MRTs to test models' validity. The location of this large fresh groundwater reservoir, in dry and populous south-east Queensland, means that its potential to be used as a water source is always high. Background information on aquifer distribution and groundwater MRTs is crucial to better validate impact assessment for water abstraction. © Author(s) 2020
- ItemUnderstanding groundwater dynamics on barrier islands using geochronological data: an example from North Stradbroke Island, South-east Queensland(National Centre for Groundwater Research And Training, 2015-11-03) Hofmann, H; Newborn, D; Cartwright, I; Cendón, DI; Raiber, MFreshwater lenses underneath barrier islands are dynamic systems affected by changing sea levels and groundwater use. They are vulnerable to contamination and over-abstraction. Residence times of fresh groundwater in barrier islands are poorly understood and have mostly been assessed by modelling approaches and estimates without fundamental validation with chronological estimations. Assessing residence time and recharge rates will improve significantly our understanding of hydrological processes of coastal environments that will in turn allow us to make informed decisions on groundwater use and environmental protection. This project focused on groundwater recharge rates and residence times of the fresh water aquifer system of North Stradbroke Island, south-east Queensland, Australia. Groundwater bores, wetlands and submarine groundwater discharge points in the tidal areas (wonky holes) were sampled along a transect across the island and were analysed for major ion chemistry and stable isotopes (δ2H, δ18O, δ13C) in combination with 3H, 14C analysis and 222Rn. Calculated 3H using a 90% exponential-piston flow model and 14C ages range from 12 to >100 years and modern to 3770 years, respectively, indicating a highly heterogeneous aquifer system with mixing from low and high conductive areas. The major ion chemistry in combination with stable and radiogenic isotopes suggests that a significant groundwater component derives from the fractured rock basement and older sedimentary formations underlying the sand dunes of the island. The results help refining the conceptual and numerical groundwater flow model for North Stradbroke Island in this particular case but also demonstrate the possible complexity of barrier island hydrogeology.