Groundwater Resource Investigation

Posted 19 May 2011

Peter Graham, Wellington Site Manager and CVEN4503 students examining cores taken with the new Geoprobe.

UNSW Year 4 Groundwater Resource Investigation students obtained hands-on experience with various hydrogeological investigation techniques at the UNSW Farm at Wellington, NSW in April.

The 3-day course included instruction in geophysical methods (electrical resistivity, seismic refraction, gravity and borehole logging); hydrochemical methods (including sampling from one of the multi-level piezometers) and hydrogeological methods (including pump testing, preparation of flow nets and drilling techniques).

Student groups were each led by a qualified instructor and the numbers in each group were limited to 15.

Groundwater Resource Investigation (CVEN4503) is a 4th year elective in the Civil and Environmental Engineering programs. The first half of the course began with 6 weeks of classroom tuition on the Kensington Campus. The second half moved to the field to make use of the newly installed Field Station facilities on the UNSW Farm at Wellington. These facilities have been provided by a NSW State Government Grant of approximately $800k and include classroom facilities, a groundwater abstraction bore and a suite of observation bores. Additional investment at the site has been provided as a part of the Groundwater Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) from the Federal Government. Students will use the data they collected to complete an assessment exercise in which they will compile individual reports designed to inform the University about options to develop groundwater resources at the site.

The final morning of the course was taken by Professor Andy Baker who showed the students around the Wellington Caves and demonstrated some of the Groundwater EIF project investment at the site. A suite of drip loggers has been installed that record the time each stalactite drips. This can then be related back to surface rainfall to reveal the flow paths through the limestone.

This new combination of classroom teaching and direct fieldwork experience helps to differentiate UNSW from other institutions and is attractive to students who want to get real experience before graduating. In the days of web delivery of teaching, where students may elect to download lectures from anywhere, this mixture of classroom teaching and fieldwork experience is expected to be attractive.

Source: UNSW School of Civil and Environmental Engineering news

Links and further information:

Latest news

Floating though the dolines

Floating though the dolines

24 July 2020

Are you a fan of ABC's Conversations with Richard Fidler? Well, you might want to take a listen to this episode of the program with subterranean ecologist Stefan Eberhard.  

Read more…

New questions over Shenhua water modelling

New questions over Shenhua water modelling

24 July 2020

Take a listen to ABC Radio National Breakfast's segment on the controversial $1.5 billion Shenhua thermal coal mine on the New South Wales Liverpool Plains. Research undertaken by UNSW's leading groundwater expert Professor Ian Acworth indicates that the company's water modelling is flawed.

Read more…

Ban on toxic mercury looms in sugar cane farming, but Australia still has a way to go

Ban on toxic mercury looms in sugar cane farming, but Australia still has a way to go

18 July 2020

CWI's Professors Cameron Holley and Darren Sinclair and Australian National University's Professor Simon Haberle and Larissa Schneider recently contributed to The Conversation, discussing federal authorities announcement of "an upcoming ban on mercury-containing pesticide in Australia", highlighting Australia is "one of the last countries in the world to do so, despite overwhelming evidence over more than 60 years that mercury use as fungicide in agriculture is dangerous." 

Read more…

Ancient water to drain from farmland without ongoing joint management

Ancient water to drain from farmland without ongoing joint management

1 July 2020

The management of withdrawals of ground water in the Central West remains an area of hotly-contested debate. Associate Professor of Hydrogeology Bryce Kelly has spent over a decade studying groundwater in the Central West, and has credited groundwater with “saving rural communities from collapse”, but its potential for future drought-proofing depends on how successfully it’s managed. He says current withdrawals “will only be sustainable if the Narromine region gets flooded frequently enough to balance the volume of groundwater extracted."

Read more…

GWI Global Water Matters Podcast

21 June 2020

The UNSW-GWI Global Water Matters Podcast was launched in 2020 to share interesting and important water-related developments and insights from global experts across the broad spectrum of water-related disciplines. Born from the demand to continue the Water Issues Commentary seminar series under the constraints of social distancing, new episodes are released monthly.

Read more…