Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://apo.ansto.gov.au/dspace/handle/10238/4554
Title: Using 14C and 3H to delineate a recharge 'window' into the Perth Basin aquifers, North Gnanagara groundwater system, Western Australia
Authors: Meredith, KT
Cendón, DI
Pigois, JP
Hollins, SE
Jacobsen, GE
Keywords: Carbon 14
Ground Water
Western Australia
Tritium
Aquifers
Isotopes
Issue Date: 1-Jan-2012
Publisher: Elsevier B. V.
Citation: Meredith, K., Cendón, D. I., Pigois, J. P., Hollins, S., Jacobsen, G. (2012). Using 14C and 3H to delineate a recharge ‘window’ into the Perth Basin aquifers, North Gnangara groundwater system, Western Australia. Science of the Total Environment, 414(2012), 456-469. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.10.016
Abstract: The Gnangara Mound and the underlying Perth Basin aquifers are the largest source of groundwater for the southwest of Australia, supplying between 35 and 50% of Perth's potable water (2009–2010). However, declining health of wetlands on the Mound coupled with the reduction in groundwater levels from increased irrigation demands and drier climatic conditions means this resource is experiencing increased pressures. The northern Gnangara is an area where the Yarragadee aquifer occurs at shallow depths (~ 50 m) and is in direct contact with the superficial aquifer, suggesting the possibility of direct recharge into a generally confined aquifer. Environmental isotopes (14C and 3H) and hydrochemical modelling were used to assess the presence of a recharge ‘window’ as well as understand the groundwater residence time within different aquifers. Forty-nine groundwater samples were collected from depths ranging from 11 to 311 m below ground surface. The isotopic variation observed in the superficial aquifer was found to be controlled by the different lithologies present, i.e. quartz-rich Bassendean Sand and carbonate-rich sediments of the Ascot Formation. Rainfall recharge into the Bassendean Sand inherits its dissolved inorganic carbon from the soil CO2. Organic matter throughout the soil profile is degraded by oxidation leading to anoxic/acidic groundwater, which if in contact with the Ascot Formation leads to enhanced dissolution of carbonates. Hydrochemical mass balance modelling showed that carbonate dissolution could contribute 1–2 mmol kg− 1 of carbon to groundwaters recharged through the Ascot Formation. The corrected groundwater residence times of the Yarragadee aquifer in the northern part of the study area ranged from 23 to 35 ka, while waters in the southeastern corner ranged from sub-modern to 2 ka. Groundwater ages increase with distance radiating from the recharge ‘window’. This study delineates a recharge ‘window’ into the commonly presumed confined aquifers of the Perth Basin, highlighting the need for appropriate sustainable management. Crown Copyright © 2011 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved
Gov't Doc #: 4201
URI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.10.016
http://apo.ansto.gov.au/dspace/handle/10238/4554
ISSN: 0048-9697
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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