17.3 Discharge from surface water to groundwater
Groundwater recharge from surface water (equivalent to surface water leakage to groundwater) could not be quantified in a way that is complete, neutral and free from material error. Groundwater recharge from surface water, in particular rivers, is an important process on the coastal plains throughout the Adelaide region.
Rivers and their tributaries flowing west from the Mount Lofty Ranges across the Adelaide Plains typically start as continuous-gaining streams then change to continuous-losing streams after they cross the Eden–Burnside or Para Faults, recharging the Quaternary aquifers. The majority of the smaller watercourses terminate in this zone. Rivers that reach the coast return to being continuous-gaining streams just before they discharge to the Gulf St Vincent (Sinclair Knight Merz 2011; Turner et al. 1996).