Assessment of multi-layered sandstone aquifers in the Sydney Basin, Blue Mountains

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
International Association of Hydrogeologists
Hydrogeological investigations of the Blue Mountains sandstone on the western fringe of the Sydney Basin have shown it to be a complex multi-layered sandstone aquifer. The shallow and intermediate aquifers are critical to spring flow and to stream baseflow in the upper plateau rivers. These aquifers will be typically the ones that support groundwater dependent ecosystems, such as wetlands and hanging swamps. The deep regional aquifer system appears to be flowing towards the deep incised valley rivers and across the Lapstone Monocline with some discharge likely into the Hawkesbury - Nepean River at the base of the plateau. The deep aquifer appears to have a large positive pressure head, which may indicate a significant proportion of the groundwater from the lower Blue Mountains is flowing under the Hawkesbury - Nepean River out further east to the coast. A regional monitoring bore network was first established in 1997 in the upper Blue Mountains near Katoomba. Over the next 10 years increased demand for groundwater saw entitlements approach the estimated extraction limit for this porous rock aquifer. Concurrently the World Heritage National Park and other nature conservation areas that surround the area have required specific water allocation. Further enhancement of the monitoring network was required in the lower Blue Mountains to manage the competing uses. This paper focuses on a series of additional monitoring bores installed in the lower Blue Mountains for sustainable groundwater management.
Sandstones, Aquifers, New South Wales, Australia, Sedimentary basins, Ground water, Rivers
Green, R. T., Russell, G., Williams, M., & Cendón D. I. (2010). Assessment of multi-layered sandstone aquifers in the Sydney Basin, Blue Mountains. Paper presented to Groundwater 2010, "The challenge of sustainability management", National Convention Centre, Canberra, 31 October - 4 November 2010. .