Estimating groundwater recharge and evapotranspiration from water table fluctuations under three vegetation covers in a coastal sandy aquifer of subtropical Australia

Fan, Junliang, Oestergaard, Kasper T., Guyot, Adrien and Lockington, David A. (2014) Estimating groundwater recharge and evapotranspiration from water table fluctuations under three vegetation covers in a coastal sandy aquifer of subtropical Australia. Journal of Hydrology, 519 Part A: 1120-1129. doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.08.039

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Author Fan, Junliang
Oestergaard, Kasper T.
Guyot, Adrien
Lockington, David A.
Title Estimating groundwater recharge and evapotranspiration from water table fluctuations under three vegetation covers in a coastal sandy aquifer of subtropical Australia
Journal name Journal of Hydrology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-1694
Publication date 2014-11-27
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2014.08.039
Open Access Status
Volume 519
Issue Part A
Start page 1120
End page 1129
Total pages 10
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
To evaluate potential hydrological impacts of changes in vegetation over a shallow sandy aquifer in subtropical Australia, we estimated groundwater recharge and discharge by evapotranspiration (ETg) under three vegetation covers. Estimates were obtained over two years (November 2011–October 2013) using the water table fluctuation method and the White method, respectively. Depth-dependent specific yields were determined for estimation of recharge and ETg. Our results show that the average annual gross recharge was largest at the sparse grassland (∼52% of net rainfall), followed by the exotic pine plantation (∼39% of net rainfall) and then the native banksia woodland (∼27% of net rainfall). Lower recharge values at forested sites resulted from higher rainfall interception and reduced storage capacity of the vadose zone due to lower elevations when the water table approaches the soil surface. During 169 rain-free days when the White method was applied, pine trees extracted nearly twice as much groundwater through ETg as the banksia, whereas no groundwater use by grasses was detected. Groundwater use is largely controlled by meteorological drivers but further mediated by depth to water table. The resulting annual net recharge (gross recharge minus ETg) at the pine plantation was comparable to that of the banksia woodland but only half of the corresponding value at the grassland. Vegetation cover impacts potential groundwater recharge and discharge, but in these subtropical shallow water table environments estimates of potential recharge based on rainfall data need to take into account the often limited recharge capacity in the wet season.
Keyword Pine plantation
Banksia woodland
Water table fluctuation method
White method
Depth-dependent specific yield
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Civil Engineering Publications
Official 2015 Collection
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 7 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 12 Sep 2014, 16:02:38 EST by Adrien Guyot on behalf of School of Civil Engineering