A multi-tracer approach to quantifying groundwater inflows to an upland river; assessing the influence of variable groundwater chemistry

Atkinson, A. P., Cartwright, I., Gilfedder, B. S., Hofmann, H., Unland, N. P., Cendon, C. I. and Chistari, R. (2015) A multi-tracer approach to quantifying groundwater inflows to an upland river; assessing the influence of variable groundwater chemistry. Hydrological Processes, 29 1: 1-12. doi:10.1002/hyp.10122


Author Atkinson, A. P.
Cartwright, I.
Gilfedder, B. S.
Hofmann, H.
Unland, N. P.
Cendon, C. I.
Chistari, R.
Title A multi-tracer approach to quantifying groundwater inflows to an upland river; assessing the influence of variable groundwater chemistry
Journal name Hydrological Processes   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0885-6087
1099-1085
Publication date 2015-01-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1002/hyp.10122
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 29
Issue 1
Start page 1
End page 12
Total pages 12
Place of publication West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Understanding the behaviour and variability of environmental tracers is important for their use in estimating groundwater discharge to rivers. This study utilizes a multi-tracer approach to quantify groundwater discharge into a 27 km upland reach of the Gellibrand River in southwest Victoria, Australia. Ten sampling campaigns were conducted between March 2011 and June 2012, and the distribution of 222Rn activities, Cl and 3H concentrations imply the river receives substantial groundwater inflows. Mass balances based on 222Rn, Cl and 3H yield estimates of groundwater inflows that agree to within ± 12%, with cumulative inflows in individual campaigns ranging from 24 346 to 88 467 m3/day along the studied river section. Groundwater discharge accounts for between 10 and 50% of river flow dependent on the time of year, with a high proportion (>40 %) of groundwater sustaining summer flows. Groundwater inflow is largely governed by regional groundwater flowpaths; between 50 and 90% of total groundwater inflows occur along a narrow 5–10 km section where the river intersects the Eastern View Formation, a major regional aquifer. Groundwater 222Rn activities over the 16 month period were spatially heterogeneous across the catchment, ranging between 2000 Bq/m3 and 16 175 Bq/m3. Although groundwater 222Rn activities display temporal variation, spatial variation in groundwater 222Rn is a key control on 222Rn mass balances in river catchments where groundwater and river 222Rn activities are within an order of magnitude of each other. Calculated groundwater discharges vary from 8.4 to 15 m3/m/day when groundwater 222Rn activities are varied by ± 1 σ.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Earth Sciences Publications
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Created: Mon, 18 Aug 2014, 21:37:53 EST by Ashleigh Paroz on behalf of School of Earth Sciences