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Impact of multi-purpose aquifer utilisation on a variable-density groundwater flow system in the Gippsland Basin, Australia

Impact of multi-purpose aquifer utilisation on a variable-density groundwater flow system in the Gippsland Basin, Australia

Hydrogeology Journal 20(1): 119-134

The Latrobe aquifer in the Gippsland Basin in southeastern Australia is a prime example for emerging resource conflicts in Australian sedimentary basins. The Latrobe Group forms a major freshwater aquifer in the onshore Gippsland Basin, and is an important reservoir for oil and gas in both onshore and offshore parts of the basin. The Latrobe Group and overlying formations contain substantial coal resources that are being mined in the onshore part of the basin. These may have coal-seam-gas potential and, in addition, the basin is considered prospective for its geothermal energy and CO2 storage potential. The impacts of groundwater extraction related to coal-mine dewatering, public water supply, and petroleum production on the flow of variable-density formation water has been assessed using freshwater hydraulic heads and impelling force vectors. Groundwater flows from the northern and western edges towards the central part of the basin. Groundwater discharge occurs mainly offshore along the southern margin. Post-stress hydraulic heads show significant declines near the petroleum fields and in the coal mining areas. A hydrodynamic model of the Latrobe aquifer was used to simulate groundwater recovery in the Latrobe aquifer from different scenarios of cessation of groundwater and other fluid extractions.

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Accession: 036262834

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DOI: 10.1007/s10040-011-0800-8

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