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GSR focuses on groundwater applications by linking expertise from across the university to conduct a range of multi-disciplinary projects.
QUT’s Groundwater Systems Research provides:
GSR was established to provide a focus for groundwater-related research and to identify and link expertise from across QUT.
Important outcomes are multidisciplinary projects with genuine integration.
GSR involves joint studies and collaboration between researchers specialising in the geosciences, hydrology and hydrogeochemistry and IT and computing (High Performance Computing), the mathematical sciences and engineering.
Numerous external organisations also participate in and fund GSR projects.
Understanding groundwater as part of the earth system is essential for management
Overall, Australia is a dry country and has a population concentrated in coastal zones. This puts much of the nation's highly variable water supply at risk of becoming overexploited or degraded.
Many of the water resources are already stressed due to excessive use, drought, climate change and the demands of supporting a rapidly growing population.
The recent drought from 1998 to 2009, resulted in: very low dam levels, an awareness of the limitations on water resources , a greater appreciation of groundwater, its finite nature, and the need to manage it.
Irrigated catchments in particular require groundwater system understanding and management, and knowledge of recharge, stream flow, links to stream and bedrock, and measurement of use.
There are unique demands on coastal groundwater systems, and the hydrological systems are highly complex, for both mainland and island settings.
To help meet future water needs, QUT is investigating how these impacts are affecting the hydrological cycle, surface and groundwater resources, environmental flows and freshwater biodiversity.
The interaction of water resources, natural environmental systems and the geological framework must be well understood. This is supported by our increasing understanding of the role that groundwater plays in the total hydrological cycle, including its connection to surface water bodies, and support of ecosystems.
Studies at a wide range of scales are needed, very local area to regional basin-wide.
The link between groundwater and resources is of major importance. The understanding of this is a fundamental component to the utilisation of resources within sedimentary basins, such as CSG, shale gas and coal deposits. The considerations are not only the surface environment, but sustainable condition of associated groundwater aquifers.
A highly successful outcome of GSR's collaboration has been the development of a range of visualisation, numerical and other modelling techniques and software. Of note is the 3D visualisation models and time series animation.
Examples of this work can be viewed in the gallery and software pages.