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Infrastructure in the Ovens catchment includes 29 new groundwater monitoring bores integrated into the Victorian State Observation Bore network, an Eddy Covariance Tower, one new and one refurbished surface water monitoring station, and soil moisture measurement installations.
The bore network was constructed specifically to extend the existing State Monitoring Network by providing much more detailed monitoring near the Ovens River and its major tributaries, together with deeper bores (up to 65m deep) that extend into the basement below the alluvial sediments. All bores are equipped with EC-head loggers to monitor both changes in both water level and fluid chemistry on a sub-daily basis. This network will allow the detailed understanding of groundwater recharge as well as a better understanding of river-groundwater interaction. An extensive suite of metadata (including major ions, stable isotopes, and 14C & 3H) has allowed the baseline geochemistry of the catchment to be established. Together with the Eddy Covariance, weather, and soil moisture data, this network will provide for a detailed understanding of the water balance in this catchment.
Studies of groundwater and groundwater-surface water interaction in the Ovens catchment have been carried out in collaboration with Goulburn-Murray Water and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (Victoria). The infrastructure and metadata is supporting research by Mr Matthew Yu (PhD student at Monash), NCGRT researchers Prof Ian Cartwright (Monash) and Dr Harald Hofmann (Monash), and Dr Ben Gilfedder (Bayreuth, Germany). The infrastructure will also be used for collaborative Monash-ANSTO (Dr Dioni Cendon) research on timescales of groundwater movement in floodplains. Data from this project will help inform groundwater and surface water management by G-MW and DEPI. The surface water infrastructure will be integrated into the BoM network and as well as providing research data that may also be used for flood monitoring. The groundwater infrastructure is being used to trial novel measurement techniques (such as automated in-situ Radon measurements).