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3D aquifer visualisations
Creation date

15-07-2021

Purpose

The 3D aquifer visualisations layer depicts the twelve regions that have a 3D hydrogeological data PDF available.

Abstract

The Australian Groundwater Explorer includes 3D hydrogeological data PDFs for selected regions. These 3D visualisations include georasters and geovolumes (2.5 and 3D representations of hydrogeologic units), hydrostratigraphy logs, bores, region boundaries, surface geology, land use, groundwater management areas, roads and water bodies.

This data is sourced from the National Groundwater Information System, State and Territory lead water agencies and Geoscience Australia. Region boundaries were sourced from the various datasets, converted into a standard projection, merged into a single dataset and attributed with the name of the region.

There is at least one model for each State and Territory:

  • Australian Capital Territory
  • Cambrian Limestone Aquifers, Northern Territory
  • Galilee Basin, Queensland
  • Gnangara Mound, Western Australia
  • Lower Namoi Alluvium, New South Wales
  • Northern and Yorke Natural Resource Management regions, South Australia
  • St Vincent Basin, South Australia
  • Ringarooma Catchment, Tasmania.
  • Gippsland Basin, Victoria.

There are also models for three inter-jurisdictional Groundwater systems:

  • Murray Basin (New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria)
  • Great Artesian Basin (New South Wales, South Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria)
  • Otway Basin (South Australia, Victoria)

The regions were selected based on data availability and significance.

Bore log plots
Creation date

15-07-2021

Purpose

Bore log plots are a graphical representation of the data in the construction, lithology and hydrostratigraphy logs. Data from these three logs is shown on a single image, and can be used to gain an understanding of the borehole.

Abstract

Bore log graphs are created by plotting data from the bore, construction, lithology and hydrostratigraphy log tables from the National Groundwater Information System. The height of the plot is the bore depth and there are up to three columns with simplified representations of the following bore logs:

  • Lithology – major lithology classified into 45 classes
  • Construction – bore casing and screened interval
  • Hydrostratigraphy – Hydrogeologic Complex from the National Aquifer Framework.

Bore log plots are currently under development and may not be available for all bores that have log tables.

Bores
Creation date

15-07-2021

Purpose

The Bores dataset is sourced from the National Groundwater Information System and is a point feature class in which each point represents the location of a bore and associated attributes.

Abstract

The Bores dataset contains groundwater bore information collected by State and Territory lead water agencies including:

  • Unique bore identifiers including the state bore ID
  • State and agency responsible for collecting the information
  • Depth and date at which the bore was drilled
  • Hydrogeological unit screened by the bore
  • Spatial location and reference elevation of the bore.

This information is exported from the relevant State or Territory groundwater database to the National Groundwater Information System.

The colour of the bore points represents the local bore density, ranging from light grey (low density) to dark grey (very high density).

Bores by purpose
Creation date

15-07-2021

Purpose

The purpose of the bore is useful to get an understanding of the main groundwater uses within a region. Bore purpose can range from the exploration of the geology to groundwater extraction for water supply, irrigation or domestic and stock purposes.

Abstract

The Bores by purpose layer identifies the main reason for the bore being constructed. This dataset is derived from the bores dataset in the National Groundwater Information System.

Bore purpose is recorded in the relevant State or Territory groundwater database and exported into the National Groundwater Information System. There are over 50 unique bore purposes, which have been aggregated into nine classes, and a bore can have multiple Purposes.

Construction logs
Creation date

15-07-2021

Purpose

Construction log is a table describing construction information at depths along the borehole sourced from the National Groundwater Information System

Abstract

When a bore is drilled the construction details are documented. The construction information describes the materials and elements used to construct the bore (e.g. hole, casing, screen, packing material, cement). This information is collated into the relevant State or Territory groundwater database and exported to the National Groundwater Information System.

Elevation
Creation date

10-02-2014

Purpose

The Elevation layer is a representation of land surface elevation in metres above the Australian Height Datum (mAHD). The elevation has been generalised into seven classes from low elevation (cream) to high elevation (brown).

Abstract

The Elevation layer is derived from Geoscience Australia's GEODATA 9 Second Digital Elevation Model (DEM-9S) Version 3 to enable quick loading of an elevation layer at a national scale. The raster has been categorised into seven classes ranging from low elevation ( < 150 mAHD) to high elevation ( > 950 mAHD).

Groundwater management areas
Creation date

15-12-2021

Purpose

Each State and Territory has groundwater management areas. The Groundwater management areas layer is a collation of jurisdictional groundwater management areas into a national dataset for use in Bureau groundwater products.

Abstract

Groundwater management areas are identified by lead water agencies in each State and Territory for management and reporting purposes. Groundwater management areas boundaries are created by lead water agencies on the basis of natural catchment or aquifer boundaries, as well as administrative and management boundaries. These jurisdictional datasets have been integrated into a single national dataset by the Bureau for use in groundwater products.

Hillshade
Creation date

16-10-2015

Purpose

The Hillshade layer creates a 3D effect that provides a sense of visual relief for cartography. It is a grayscale 3D model of the surface elevation with the sun's relative position taken into account for shading the image.

Abstract

The Hillshade layer is derived from Geoscience Australia's 1 second Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) Smoothed Digital Elevation Model (DEM).

Hydrogeochemistry
Creation date

15-07-2021

Custodian

Commonwealth of Australia (Geoscience Australia)
CSIRO on behalf of State and Territory lead water agencies

Purpose

Hydrogeochemistry data provides useful information about the quality of groundwater and the processes affecting it. The Hydrogeochemistry layer depicts bores with hydrogeochemistry data available through the Australian Groundwater Explorer. The colour of the layer represents the number of hydrogeochemistry measurements on record, from dark green (>40) to light green (<20).

Abstract

The hydrochemistry data in the Explorer has been sourced from Geoscience Australia (GA) web services and the CSIRO Data Access Portal.

GA collects hydrochemistry data on a project basis. CSIRO has curated a groundwater hydrochemistry dataset by collating and standardising data from most State and Territory lead water agencies. At this stage the Explorer only contains a pilot of the CSIRO hydrochemistry data for the Northern Territory. Data for remaining States will be added in the near future.

GA and CSIRO datasets include a range of hydrochemistry data including:

  • Field measurements and laboratory analyses, such as pH and electrical conductivity
  • Major and minor ions, such as sodium and calcium
  • Environmental tracers, such as oxygen-18, carbon-13
  • Radioactive isotopes, such as chloride-36 and carbon-14
  • Nutrients, such as nitrate as N
  • Gases, such as nitrogen gas

In addition to this CSIRO has calculated variables such as saturation indices, which are derived from the hydrochemistry measurements. Information for methodologies used by CSIRO, including the saturation indices, is available from the CSIRO Research Publications Repository.

GA uses project-based bore IDs, which may be different to the bore IDs used by State/Territory agencies and the National Groundwater Information System (NGIS). While CSIRO has collated State datasets and bore IDs should match NGIS, some bore IDs may not due to missing hole and pipe numbers.

Hydrogeology - aquifer boundaries
Creation date

30-06-2017

Custodian

Bureau of Meteorology

Purpose

Delineation of the extents of the principal aquifers throughout Australia, and categorisation into upper, middle or lower aquifer groupings based on age and stratigraphic position (depth).

Abstract

The aquifer boundaries dataset depicts the major groundwater resources in Australia. This includes well known aquifers, including Great Artesian Basin, Murray Basin, Daly Basin and Perth Basin. Where possible they are attributed with their local name to allow users to identify known aquifers in an area of interest.

Aquifers are categorised as belonging to upper, middle or lower groups. This is based on the National Aquifer Framework, which groups aquifers by geological strata and age. The classification is indicative and designed to give only an indication of where complex layered aquifers occur.

The aquifer boundaries dataset is sourced from the National Groundwater Information System (NGIS). Input datasets are listed on the NGIS Copyright webpage. Detailed discussion of the methodology used is found in the Bureau's aquifer boundaries paper.

Hydrostratigraphy logs
Creation date

15-07-2021

Purpose

Hydrostratigraphy log is a table with information describing the hydrogeologic units intersected at depth intervals along a borehole. It is sourced from the National Groundwater Information System.

Abstract

Hydrogeologists interpret lithology and driller's logs to create hydrostratigraphy logs - a table with information describing the hydrogeologic units (e.g. Murray Group Limestone, Hooray Sandstone) intersected at depth intervals along a borehole. This information is of collated into the relevant State or Territory groundwater database and exported into the National Groundwater Information System.

Irrigation areas
Creation date

15-10-2015

Purpose

The Irrigation areas layer provides a national coverage of areas with administratively defined boundaries and associated rights and obligations relating to the use of water for irrigation.

Abstract

The Irrigation areas layer builds on the Australian Irrigation Areas, Version 1a (dataset published by the former National Land and Water Resources Audit in 2001) and an unpublished update to this dataset by the former Bureau of Rural Sciences in 2006. Recent improvements made by the Bureau of Meteorology include adding extra areas in Western Australian and Tasmania, and updating the names.

Landuse
Creation date

15-09-2015

Purpose

The Landuse layer represents national scale land use as nine broad classes relevant to water use in Australia:

  • Conservation and Natural Environment – nature conservation and indigenous use areas
  • Dryland agriculture – non-irrigated drylands under cultivation
  • Forestry – plantation and production forestry
  • Grazing – natural vegetation and modified pasture grazing lands
  • Irrigated agriculture – lands under irrigated cropping, horticulture and pastures
  • Mining – mining and waste areas
  • Other intensive uses – intensive animal and plant production, rural residential and farm infrastructure
  • Urban – rural residential and farm infrastructure as well as urban intensive uses
  • Water – inland water bodies.
Abstract

The Landuse layer was derived from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences' Land Use of Australia, Version 4, 2005–06, a land use map of Australia for the year 2005–06. The primary land use was classified into nine broad classes relevant to water use in Australia.

Lithology logs
Creation date

15-07-2021

Purpose

Lithology log is a table with driller's or geologist's description of geologic material at depth intervals along a borehole. It is sourced from the National Groundwater Information System.

Abstract

A lithology log is the description of the geological layers intersected by a bore (e.g. sand, clay, basalt, limestone). The log is usually completed by the bore driller or a geologist after drilling is complete. As a bore can have a driller's log and a lithology log, there can be more than one lithology log for each bore. This information is collated into the relevant State or Territory groundwater database and exported to the National Groundwater Information System.

Places
Creation date

01-04-2015

Purpose

The Places layer depicts towns and places at a range of scales to provide context for the groundwater features shown in the Australian Groundwater Explorer.

Abstract

The Places layer is derived from Geoscience Australia's topographic mapping product, Geodata Topo Series 3.

Rainfall trend
Creation date

15-07-2021

Purpose

Trends in rainfall are presented on water level plots so that users can compare changes in levels with changes in climate. Rainfall and groundwater are often positively correlated, that is, increased rainfall means increased groundwater. This can be because recharge to an aquifer is caused by rainfall, or because during high rainfall periods groundwater extraction decreases allowing levels to rise.

Abstract

The rainfall trend presented in the Australian Groundwater Explorer is the Accumulated Monthly Rainfall Residual (AMRR). It is calculated from Bureau of Meteorology AWAP rainfall grids using the following formula:

AMRRt = ti=1 (Mij—mj)

Where Mij is rainfall (in mm) in month i (a sequential index of months since January 1911) which corresponds to the jth month of the year. mj is mean monthly rainfall (in mm) for the jth month of the year, and t is months since the start of the data.

This data is extracted for each bore with a water level from the AWAP grid cell that contains that bore.

River regions
Creation date

19-11-2012

Purpose

The River region layer represents hydrological boundaries at a regional scale.

Abstract

The River region layer is taken from the Bureau of Meteorology's Australian Hydrological Geospatial Fabric ('Geofabric') Hydrology River Regions. These regions are designed for use in regional scale reporting and hydrological modelling. They are an aggregation of contracted catchments developed to meet Bureau requirements for regional scale water resources assessment.

Rivers and Lakes
Creation date

01-11-2012

Purpose

The Rivers and Lakes layers depict surface water features that may interact with groundwater. For example, groundwater may discharge into rivers and provide base flow. Conversely the surface water features, such as rivers and lakes, may recharge the groundwater.

Abstract

The Rivers and Lakes layers have been created from the Bureau of Meteorology's Australian Hydrological Geospatial Fabric (Geofabric) Surface Cartography.

Roads
Creation date

01-04-2015

Purpose

The Roads layer depicts roads at a range of scales to provide context for the groundwater features shown in the Australian Groundwater Explorer.

Abstract

Roads is a composite layer that comprises several road datasets at a range of scales to show varying levels of detail. The data is sourced from Geoscience Australia's topographic mapping products including:

  • Geodata Topo 10M 2002
  • Geodata Topo 5M 2004
  • Geodata Topo 2.5M 2003
  • Global Map 1M 2001
  • Geodata Topo Series 3.
Salinity
Creation date

15-07-2021

Purpose

Groundwater salinity data provides useful information about the quality of groundwater resources. The Salinity layer depicts bores with groundwater salinity data available through the Australian Groundwater Explorer. The colour of the layer represents the number of salinity measurements on record from dark pink (>10) to light pink (1).

Abstract

Groundwater salinity data is collected by State and Territory water agencies and delivered to the Bureau in line with the Water Regulations.

Groundwater salinity data in the Explorer is updated at least annually. The currency of the data varies per area and/or data provider.

Salinity data is measured in one of two ways:

  • Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) in units of milligrams per litre (mg/L), which measures the weight of dissolved content per litre of water.
  • Electrical Conductivity (EC) in units of micro-Siemens or milli-Siemens per centimetre (µS/cm or mS/cm). Electrical Conductivity is a reliable estimator of the salinity of water.
Satellite imagery
Creation date

2009

Purpose

The satellite imagery layer shows a representation of the Earth's surface including natural and man–made structures, such as vegetation, roads, buildings and water bodies.

Abstract

The satellite imagery layer is sourced from Esri's World Imagery Map Service.

Sedimentary basins
Creation date

15-11-2013

Purpose

The Sedimentary basins dataset is a national layer of onshore sedimentary basins that can be displayed based on geological age. It was developed by the Bureau for display in the Australian Groundwater Explorer.

Abstract

Sedimentary basins, such as the Great Artesian Basin and the Officer Basin, are an important source of groundwater within Australia. They typically contain extensive multi-layered aquifer systems consisting of permeable sediments.

The Sedimentary basins dataset was developed by the Bureau as a contextual dataset for the Australian Groundwater Explorer. The dataset was derived from Geoscience Australia's sedimentary basins as follows:

  • Removed offshore basins
  • Created a single feature for each sedimentary basin by copying and merging components
  • Added a maximum age attribute for processing and symbolisation only
  • Features were ordered dataset by age with older features behind younger features.
State and Territory borders
Creation date

01-04-2015

Purpose

The State and Territory borders layer depicts the administrative boundaries for Australian States and Territories. This layer provides context for the groundwater features shown in the Australian Groundwater Explorer.

Abstract

State and Territory borders is a composite layer that comprises several datasets at a range of scales to show varying levels of detail. The data is sourced from Geoscience Australia's topographic mapping products including:

  • Geodata Topo 10M 2002
  • Geodata Topo 5M 2004
  • Geodata Topo 2.5M 2003
  • Global Map 1M 2001
  • Geodata Topo Series 3.
Surface geology
Creation date

05-01-2012

Purpose

The Surface Geology layer depicts broad groupings of Geoscience Australia's 1 million and 2.5 million scale surface geology of Australia. The groupings are based on the age of the geologic unit. This simple representation of outcrop and surficial geology is useful for understanding the hydrogeology of an area.

Abstract

Surface Geology is a composite layer. It is based on the 1:2.5 million scale geology of Australia at coarse resolutions and the 1:1 million scale geology of Australia at fine resolutions. Both geology datasets have been sourced from Geoscience Australia:

This dataset has been simplified to show the age of the geologic units: Archean, Proterozoic, Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras and Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous, Tertiary and Quaternary periods.

Topographic colour map
Creation date

2017

Custodian

ESRI

Purpose

The Topographic colour map portrays detailed graphic representations of features that appear on the Earth's surface in colour. It includes cultural, hydrography, marine, transport, vegetation and relief themes.

Abstract

The Topographic colour map is sourced from from Esri's World Street Map Service.

Water level
Creation date

15-07-2021

Purpose

Groundwater levels and trends provide useful information about the availability of water resources, groundwater flow and the influence of factors, such as extraction and climate. Groundwater levels are measured in bores and reported as a depth or elevation. The Water level layer depicts bores with groundwater level data available through the Australian Groundwater Explorer. The colour of the layer represents the number of measurements on record, from dark blue (>200) to light blue (<5).

Abstract

Groundwater level data is collected by State and Territory water agencies and delivered to the Bureau in accordance with the Water Regulations. Selected further data is sourced outside for the Water Regulations, e.g. data supplied from National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).

Groundwater level data in the Australian Groundwater Explorer is updated twice per financial year. The currency of the data varies per area and/or data provider. State agencies submit their data to the Bureau between daily and monthly time periods. This data is processed and updated to the Groundwater Explorer on a weekly basis. It is expected that there are approximately 3,000 bores across Australia where regular updates occur. There is the possibility of a lag between updates depending on if there is a delay in data submission or processing time.

Groundwater level information can be presented using different terms or variables including:

  • Depth to water (DTW)—measured from the ground surface to the groundwater level. Positive values are below the ground surface. Negative values are above the ground surface and indicate artesian conditions. This term is sometimes called depth below natural surface (DBNS).
  • Standing water level (SWL)—measured from the reference point on the bore (e.g. the top of casing) to the groundwater level. Positive values are below the reference point and negative values are above the reference point.
  • Reduced standing water level (RSWL)—the groundwater level elevation relative to the Australian Height Datum (AHD). This is the standard height datum used in Australia. It sets mean sea level as zero elevation. Positive values are above mean sea level and negative values are below.
Water level - long term average
Creation date

15-07-2021

Purpose

Long term average water levels are shown on water level plots to demonstrate how levels vary over time and to put recent levels in an historical context. Users can see at a glance whether recent levels are above or below long term average.

Abstract

Long term average water levels are calculated as percentiles. For each bore percentiles are calculated using average monthly data for the entire historical record. Plots are then coloured such that:

  • Blue indicates where levels are above the 75th percentile, denoted as above average
  • White indicates where water levels are between the 25th and 75th percentile, denoted as average
  • Red indicated where water levels are below the 25th percentile, denoted as below average.

Only bores with more than >5 water level readings display this analysis.


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