Springer

Interconnectivity between the Superficial Aquifer and the Deep Confined Aquifers of the Gnangara Mound, Western Australia

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Perth groundwater resources are obtained from three major aquifers that occur beneath the Perth metropolitan area: the Superficial aquifer, Leederville aquifer and Yarragadee aquifer. Each aquifer has a unique seasonal water level pattern controlled by soils, geomorphology and geology. Landuse is mainly responsible for variations in recharge; however, the hydraulic properties control aquifer response and water level pattern to a greater degree. Groundwater in the three aquifers is generally of very good quality except in localised areas. Salinity increases with depth and in direction of groundwater flow in the three aquifers. The best water quality is in the Superficial aquifer in the Wanneroo well field area. The geochemistry and stable isotope signatures from the three major aquifers revealed distinct water types that suggest very little hydraulic connection or mixing of waters between these aquifers at the present abstraction and recharge regimes. The results also show that the Leederville and Yarragadee aquifers were recharged during earlier cooler times while the Superficial aquifer is being recharged at present.

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