Eureka – cost effective and quick way to find groundwater
We live in the driest state in the driest continent, with water a scarce commodity and a major environmental, biological and socio-economic issue for many communities across South Australia.
Now, thanks to UniSA researcher Dr Alaa Ahmed, new cost-effective technology can pinpoint sites in the central Flinders Ranges where precious groundwater is likely to be found, handing a lifeline to residents in that region.
Using satellite imagery, geospatial techniques and adding information on drainage, rock types, fractures, topography and rainfall, Dr Ahmed has mapped the Hawker region into three distinct classifications for groundwater stored in fractured rock aquifers: good, moderate and low.
His study indicates that the most effective groundwater recharge zones (where surface water collects as it moves downwards) are located where there are numerous rock fractures, low drainage and a gentle slope.
Conversely, the least effective areas to find groundwater are underlain by shale and siltstone.