Groundwater hydrochemistry is a key input to many investigations and resource management decisions. It informs the suitability of groundwater for different uses and provides insights into groundwater processes. In Australia groundwater chemistry including isotope data is collected and held by numerous agencies in a variety of formats and databases, which makes it difficult to discover the existing data. Providing access to existing chemistry data can deliver savings to anyone seeking this information and facilitate the creation of value-added products.
The Bureau of Meteorology has collaborated with Geoscience Australia (GA) and CSIRO to deliver a national groundwater chemistry dataset in the Australian Groundwater Explorer, the web mapping application for Australian groundwater data.
Methodology and results
In 2016, the Bureau first partnered with GA to publish their groundwater chemistry data in the Explorer. GA data is accessed from their web services by the Bureau twice a year. Currently available for numerous project areas across Australia, the dataset is growing every time new investigations are completed.
A recent collaboration with CSIRO is delivering even more chemistry data through the Explorer. CSIRO has collated, standardised and quality-controlled groundwater chemistry data from State/Territory agencies across Australia; CSIRO also has chemistry data from its own investigations. The Bureau has standardised this data to the GA data model, integrated it with the GA data and published it in the Explorer to make a national groundwater chemistry dataset publicly available for the first time.
The Explorer now provides groundwater chemistry data for more than 140,000 bores and over 50 parameters such as major, minor and trace elements, and isotopes. In the Explorer, chemistry data can be viewed alongside other complementary data such as bore details, water levels, salinity and bore logs, delivering a nationally consistent and comprehensive suite of data to support decision-making on Australia’s groundwater resources. Case studies on how to use this data will be presented.